Visited the 7th Lunar Month festival at Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre (Block 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza) last Sunday afternoon (14 August, the 17th day of the 7th Lunar Month). Arrived just in time to catch the start of the burning of paper offerings. There were a lot of sweets and candy offered too.
Spoke to Roger, the organiser of the festival. He told me the festival was started by him, an individual initiative - there’s no formal association - 20 years ago.
There was a market association, and a shop owners’ association in the neighbouring block (Block 5), but both had decided that this year’s 7th Lunar Month observance would be their last. The organisers are in their 70s and 80s and they couldn’t find successors, he lamented. Now his festival will be the only one left in the market.
I asked him why so many offerings at ground level for child and baby spirits. “I care specially for children,” he said. “And (child spirits) are especially ‘ling’ (efficacious in dispensing blessings)”.
He pointed at the toys and sweets on the floor, neatly arranged and patterned. “See? I make sure they’re all laid out nicely. It takes ages.”
He was clearly proud of his work providing for the wandering spirits. That’ll keep him going long after the others have thrown in the towel.