I chose to wander into the Bang Neow Shrine whilst I was waiting for the Chief Mah-Song to arrive. Throughout the Shrine there were people cleaning the Chinese figurines - and some of them were extremely dirty!
As they cleaned the Chief Mah-Song arrived - smiling and shaking hands with the observers.
He disrobed and sat quietly in front of the offerings - meanwhile a drum was banged slowly and methodically. The Mah-Song began to sway head and then his body from side to side meeting the rhythm of the drum. He suddenly leapt up and went to the Shrines offering table.
He was possessed!
He was dressed in a robe and given knives. He then walked to each corner of the Shrine Land (similar to the opening ceremony 2012).
At each corner in turn he was joined by someone from the shrine and together they proceeded to perform a circular dance and say some words.
Once this was complete they would move to another corner - returning to the Shrine when this was complete.
Here another two different ceremonies took place.
Grain was placed on bamboo leaf and paper with Chinese Writing on - the same as the paper that was under the roadside shrines. Food was then added and the set alight?
The Mah-Song then performed another dance and several words were spoken. The Mah-Song then filled his mouth with a drink which he then sprayed all over the items that were in the Festival -
Snake Ropes, Headed Pins and food.
During this period more dances too place between the Mah-Song and his 'team'. It was as the ceremony closed that I noticed people with scars clearly on their cheeks?
At this point the focus was then turned to the lowering of the Lantern Pole - I attended the raising last year but the lowering this year. As they carefully brought the Lantern Pole down I was amused to see the amount of people which were trying to get a piece on the branch that formed part of the lantern Pole.
I did join in and get a piece for me though.
We then went for dinner at Ichi Sushi.
See you all next year!