Where to celebrate Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2024 in Singapore? (九皇爷诞 / 九皇胜会)

Where to celebrate Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Singapore - Kew Ong Yah Temple 后港斗母宫 - 新加坡九皇爷诞辰庆祝活动
Discover how to celebrate and where to celebrate the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Singapore. Explore the list of temples, rituals, and taboos associated with this vibrant religious event.

What is Nine Emperor Gods Festival?

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival (九皇爷诞 / 九皇胜会) is an annual Taoist religious event that commemorates the birth of the nine sons (九皇星君/九皇大帝) of Big Dipper (斗母元君).

Devotees celebrate this festival for 10 days every year by observing a vegetarian diet, praying to the Nine Emperor Gods at the temples, performing rituals and processions to receive and send off the deities at the start and end of the festival.

These traditions were brought to Southeast Asia by Chinese immigrants in the 19th century and are still widely practiced in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. In Thailand, it is colloquially known as the Vegetarian Festival.

When is Nine Emperor Gods Festival in 2024?

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival (九皇爷诞 / 九皇胜会) is observed annually for 10 days from the eve of first day to the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year, it will take place from 2 – 11 October 2024 (农历八月三十至九月初九).

How to celebrate Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Singapore?

During the 10-day festival, devotees will flock to shrines that house the Nine Emperor Gods to pray. Processions to receive (请水) and send off (回銮) the deities will be held on the eve of the first day and last day of the festival. 

While celebrations and schedules may differ from one temple to another, the notable events during the festival include:

  • 30th day of eighth month (八月三十): Processions to receive the Nine Emperor Gods (请水)
  • 1st day to 3rd day of ninth month (九月初一至初三): Various worshipping ceremonies
  • 4th to 8th day of ninth month (九月初四至初八): Processions to parade the Gods (游神)
  • 9th day of ninth month (九月初九): Send off  the deities (回銮)

During the festival, Getai (歌台) and Chinese opera performances will also be held at selected temples to keep the deities as well as visitors entertained.

The highlight of the festival is the sending-off ceremony on the last day of the festival. During the ritual, a dragon ship (龙船) crafted from paper and filled with incense paper, joss sticks, salt, oil, rice and notes bearing the names of devotees and their families is ceremoniously set ablaze while being pushed out to the sea. This act symbolises the removal of bad fortune, casting it away into the sea.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to actively engage and observe the festival at various shines and temples.

List of Nine Emperor Gods temples and celebrations in Singapore 九皇爷庙

Photos via Kew Ong Yah Temple (Upper Serangoon) / Facebook

Kew Ong Yah Temple / Tou Mu Kung Temple 后港斗母宫

  • Date: 2 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies, Dragon Ship Burning, Lamp Lighting, Getai, Chinese Opera, Teochew Opera
  • Receive Date/Time: 2 October 2024 (Wednesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 779A Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534648 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (NE13) Kovan

Hong San Temple 凤山宫

  • Date: 27 September 2024 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies, Teochew Opera, Lamp Lighting, Dragon Ship Burning, Bridge Crossing Ritual.
  • Receive Date/Time: 27 September 2024 (Friday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 49 Defu Lane 12, Singapore 539142 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (CC11) Tai Seng (1.8km or 26-minute walk)

Photos via Kew Ong Yah Temple (Upper Serangoon) / Facebook

Tao Bu Keng Temple 蔡厝港斗母宫

  • Date: 2 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Free Vegetarian Food, Amusement Rides for Kids, Getai / Music Performance, Neon Dragon Dance, Lion Dance, Receive & Send-off Ceremonies, Bridge Crossing Ritual.
  • Receive Date/Time: 2 October 2024 (Wednesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 2 Teck Whye Lane, Singapore 688799 [Map]
  • Nearest LRT station: (BP5) Phoenix
  • Nearest MRT station: (DT1) Bukit Panjang (1.4km or 20-minute walk)

Leong Nam Temple / Long Nan Dian 龙南殿

  • Date: 30 September 2024 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Free Vegetarian Snacks and Dishes, Deities Invite & Send-off Ceremonies, Yew Keng (游境), Chinese Opera, Lamp Lighting, Dragon Boat Burning, Bridge Crossing Ritual, Fireworks.
  • Receive Date/Time: 30 September 2024 (Monday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 70 Sengkang West Avenue, #01-01, Singapore 797651 [Map]
  • Nearest LRT station: (SW5) Fernvale
  • Nearest MRT station: (NE16) Sengkang (3km or 41-minute walk)

Charn Mao Hern Kew Huang Keng 葱茅园九皇宫

  • Date: 30 September 2024 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off ceremonies, Getai, Dragon Boat Burning.
  • Receive Date/Time: 30 October 2024 (Monday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 28 Arumugam Rd, Singapore 409965 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (CC10|DT26) Macpherson

Long Shan Yan Dou Mu Gong 龙山岩斗母宫

  • Date: 2 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Invite & Send-off Deities, Firewalking Ceremony, Taoist Prayers, Vegetarian Banquet, Bridge Crossing Ceremony, Dragon Boat Burning, Dinner.
  • Receive Date/Time: 2 October 2024 (Wednesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 791 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569974 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (NS16) Ang Mo Kio

Xuan Wu Shan 玄武山翰林院

  • Date: 2 – 12 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies, Bridge Crossing Ritual.
  • Receive Date/Time: 2 October 2024 (Wednesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 12 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: Beside Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre, Blk 252 Jurong East Street 24, Singapore 600252 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (EW25) Chinese Garden 

Jing Shui Gang Dou Mu Gong 汫水港斗母宫风山寺

  • Date: 2 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies, Free Vegetarian Food.
  • Receive Date/Time: 2 October 2024 (Wednesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 561 Yishun Ring Road, Singapore 768682 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (NS13) Yishun 

Jiu Huang Dian 玉封九皇殿

  • Date: 2 – 13 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Invite & Send-off Ceremony, Religious Rituals Led by Taoist Priest,  Lamp Lighting
  • Receive Date/Time: 2 October 2024 (Wednesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Venue: Beside Yuhua Place Market
  • Address: Blk 347 Jurong East Avenue 1, Singapore 600347 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (EW25) Chinese Garden 

Ling Lian Bao Dian Kew Ong Yah Temple 凌莲宝殿斗母宫

  • Date: 1 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Invite & Send-off Ceremony, Talk by Taoist Priest in English, Lion & Dragon Dance Performance, Bridge Crossing, Dragon Ship Burning, Birthday Dinner
  • Receive Date/Time: 1 October 2024 (Tuesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Venue: Field beside Tampines N4 Neighbourhood
  • Address: Blk 473 Tampines Street 43, Singapore 520473 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (DT33) Tampines East

Nan Bei Dou Mu Gong 南北九皇斗母宫

  • Date: 1 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremony, Karaoke by public, Getai, Bridge Crossing, Free Vegetarian Food
  • Receive Date/Time: 1 October 2024 (Tuesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Venue: Field beside Eunos MRT station
  • Address: 30 Eunos Crescent, Singapore 409423 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (EW7) Eunos

Jiu Dou Gong 九斗宫

  • Date: 1 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies
  • Receive Date/Time: 1 October 2024 (Tuesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: Car park beside Frontier, Ubi Avenue 3 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (CC10|DT26) MacPherson (1.1km or 15-minute walk)

Shin Sen Keng 神仙宫

  • Date: 2 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies
  • Receive Date/Time: 2 October 2024 (Wednesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 1 Bukit Batok Crescent, #09-26, WCEGA Plaza, Singapore 658064 Singapore, Singapore [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (NS2) Bukit Batok

Zhun Ti Tang Temple 准提堂

  • Date: 29 September 2024 – 12 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies
  • Receive Date/Time: 29 September 2024 (Sunday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Venue: Field beside Rivervale Plaza
  • Address: Blk 118 Rivervale Drive, Singapore 540118 [Map]
  • Nearest LRT station: (SE3) Bakau
  • Nearest MRT station: (NE16) Sengkang (1.4km or 19-minute walk)

Kim San Tze / Jin San Si 金山寺斗山宫

  • Date: 1 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies
  • Receive Date/Time: 1 October 2024 (Tuesday)
  • Send-off Date/Time: 11 October 2024 (Friday)
  • Address: 25 Jalan Ulu Siglap, Singapore 457182 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (EW5) Bedok (1.5km or 20-minute walk)

Jee Hai Tung Kwan Im Welfare Society 玉皇殿玉海棠观音堂

  • Date: 2 – 11 October 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
  • Activities: Receive & Send-off Ceremonies
  • Address: 32 Bedok Reservoir Road, Singapore 479231 [Map]
  • Nearest MRT station: (DT28) Kaki Bukit

Common rituals and taboos to observe

During the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, devotees will observe a vegan diet from the first day to ninth day of the ninth month. Vegan is more restrictive than vegetarian, as it excludes not only meat but also eggs and all dairy products.

If you intend to visit one of the Nine Emperor Gods’ temples, it is advisable to observe a vegan diet for the day, even if you don’t plan to continue it for the entire nine days.

While there is no specific dress code, always wear modestly when visiting any temples as a sign of respect.

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Andrew L
A geek who's into start-up scene, business and technology. True blue Singaporean who checks his phone every other minute for breaking news and is someone who must always be in the know. Dislike queuing, though.

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