The Festival of the Nine Emperor Gods: Myth, Ritual, and Symbol

by Hock-Tong Cheu PhD



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/13/2020

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 360
ISBN : 9781543757934
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 360
ISBN : 9781543757941

About the Book

The Nine Emperor Gods, or Jiuhuangye as they are often called, are star deities who control the nine planets of our solar system, and currently constitute the most popular spirit-medium cult within the Taoist pantheon in the Southeast Asian regions of Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. The Festival of the Nine Emperor Gods is celebrated during the first nine days of the ninth lunar month. During this time, thousands of devotees and spectators from far and near gather at the temple to observe and participate in an elaborate body of rituals, which include the welcoming and sending-off ceremonies, talllamp raising and lowering ceremonies, dragon dance, spirit-mediumship, trance dance and trance rituals, luck-opening rite, luck-preserving rite, thanks-offering rite, as well as the bridge-crossing and fire-walk ceremonies. This is the first time such an in-depth study of the Nine Emperor Gods system of beliefs and practices has been attempted, and Dr Cheu’s fascinating account of these rituals and symbolic relevance is a major contribution to an overall understanding of Chinese religious behavior.

About the Author

Hock Tong Cheu received his Masters and Ph.D degrees from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and had lectured in Anthropology and Sociology in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia from 1976 till mid-1995. From mid-1995 till 2000, he taught in the Malay Studies Department and the Southeast Asian Studies Center, National University of Singapore. He was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore in 1984 and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from August 1987 to October 1988. He has made several in-depth studies of the Nine Emperor Gods Spirit-Medium Cults as well as the Chinese Locality Saints, the Nadugong, and the Malay Keramat in Southeast Asia. Dr Cheu, who is effectively trilingual in English, Chinese and Malay, wrote prolifically, and had contributed numerous articles in all three languages to professional and academic journals, magazines and newspapers. He had also presented numerous academic papers for discussion in local and international conferences.