Popular Singapore temple: Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is one of the famous Singapore temples among the Taoist and Buddhist communities in Singapore. It was built since 1884 and was reconstructed in 1895, it is one of the historical Singapore temple that has existed for more than a century in Singapore.

This temple is located at Waterloo Street very near to the famous Bugis Street in Singapore. It is dedicated to Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy, with hundreds of devotees visiting the temple to pray for blessings from the Goddess.

Read on to find out why this Singapore temple is so famous!

During World War II

Beside the fact that the Kwan Im temple is one of the oldest Singapore temple, it had also built and named since World War II when Japanese invaded Singapore. During the Second World War, the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple did not suffer much damage while many buildings in the vicinity were destroyed and it was believed that this was due to the blessing of the Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. It also provided refuge for the sick, the wounded and the homeless during the hard time.

Well-known for blessings

Many Singaporeans believe that the Kwan Im Temple truly blesses the devoted with good luck if they go there to worship often. Most devotees visit the temple on the first or fifteenth day of Chinese New Year . Every Chinese New Year eve, there will be hundreds of devotees holding joss sticks waiting outside the temple and once the door opens, all will rush to be the first person to put the joss sticks into the joss stick urn. It is believed that the person who inserts the first joss stick will be blessed with all the good luck for the rest of the year. During the eve of Chinese New Year, this famous Singapore temple is open all night and the street is packed with devotees praying to the Goddess for an auspicious start to the New Year.

Well-known for its fortune stick prediction

Fortune sticks or divination sticks is a form of fortune telling through shaking a cylinder storing bamboo sticks with numbers. Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is famous for its fortune stick prediction, there are 4 procedures to get a prediction for this method of fortune telling.

First procedure - Kneel down in front of the Goddess and think silently or whisper your question to Goddess while holding the cylinder stick holder between your palms.

Second procedure - After asking the question, shake the cylinder, which is usually tipped slightly downward, resulting in at least one stick leaving the cylinder and being dropped onto the floor. If multiple sticks leave the cylinder, those fortunes would not count and the cylinder must be shaken again. Each stick, with its designated number, represents one answer.

Third procedure - Once a single stick falls out of the cylinder stick holder, to confirm the validity of the answer given by the Goddess, you will pick up the two red wooden moon blocks (jiaobei blocks) and toss the jiaobei blocks. Each block is crescent in shape, and you have to toss both block together. The objective of tossing is to get the blocks to land in this way - one on the flat side, and one on the curved side. This represents a successful answer. If the blocks both land the same way, either both on the curved side or both on the flat side, it means that the reading was wrong. If this happens put back the sticks into the cylinder and ask the question again and repeat the above procedures till you get a successful answer.

Fourth procedure - Once a successful answer is shown, take the stick on the floor which you shook out at the third procedure. The stick will have a number on it (written in Chinese character) to the place where you got the fortune sticks, show your answer stick to the person in-charge and get the prediction sheet, the writing on the sheet is the answer to your question. There are fortune stick interpretation books written in both Chinese and English available beside the counter. You will be able to find the answer from the interpretation book or alternatively, you can get the sheet and ask a fortune teller outside the temple to interpret it for you (note: this service is not free, you have to pay for the interpretation so ask how much it costs before you ask the fortune teller to interpret).

Now you know the procedure of the fortune stick prediction, why not give it a try when you visit the temple and see whether the prediction is accurate?

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