We were wandering home yesterday (Friday night) from our local Indian hawker centre down in Farrer Park across from City Square mall when we came across the set-up of a celebration, of seemingly religious original, up the top of Race Course Road. We weren't quite sure what it was, so were tentatively looking at it when the uncle setting it up told us to take pictures. I happily obliged of course.
We couldn't quite figure out what it was and what was going on, so we asked him. His English was minimal but he was very very nice and explained that the next day (ie. today, Saturday 19th of January) everyone would be coming and they would be praying from morning to night and celebrating.
Even after looking around we didn't know which religion it was for, there was a picture of a god that looked a lot like Ganesh with all the arms, but with distinctly more Chinese / Eastern Asian features. There were a lot of offerings that seemed to be more of Chinese origin to me but I couldn't be sure.
There were joss sticks and candles and a dragonboat with statue people on and all sorts of other interesting things!
More fruit offerings, joss sticks and paper offerings.
The awesome dragon boat. I did mean it literally!
I posted a couple of these pictures on Twitter to try and understand what was going on. @avalon is always willing to help out and answer my odd / silly questions (which is much appreciated!) and she said that the signs referred to the Buddhist religion but that the layout & offerings set up seemed to be more Taoist. Any other comments very welcome to help us figure this out. @avalon also explained more about how people celebrate deities' birthdays to "be on the safe side" (for want of a better way to describe it), to make sure you are ok, and to scary images of deities, sometimes even unknown as there are so many. I fully get the "better safe than sorry" approach.
There is a house on the boat and figurines.
Hanging prayer flags etc, with written messages on them.
Big Candles? Fireworks? Joss sticks?
Hanging flower baskets, with what seems to be the names of the sponsoring companies on them.
One of the statues on the right with a person on a horse.
Another man? Wiseman? On an animal, not sure which one.