Awaken the statues

Culture and Tradition

On July 19, Er Par Wang Temple celebrated the arrival of 43 newly arrived deities statues.  In the morning that day, members of the temple witnessed the eye-dotting ceremony of the new statues.  I had the privilege to witness the ceremony for the first time.  My colleague asked me whether or not I wanted to join her to take some pictures of the ceremony, I agreed.  I am not a Buddhist, but accepted the invitation for the love of culture and tradition.

The eye-dotting ceremony is a traditional ceremony to bless and ‘awaken’ a new statue.  It signifies the birth of the statue into the world.  According to tradition, a statue without the ‘awakening’ ceremony remains merely an antique that will not bring forth any supernatural power.

A Buddhist monk would normally begin the ceremony with chanting of prayers to the gods and to summon the spirit and soul of the deity from the heavens into the statue.  He would then dot various parts of the statue with a red mixture according to the ritual texts.

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