Teochew Culture of Temple Ritual Ceremonies

The culture of temple worship in Teochew temples is a unique blend of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian practices, and are full-day affairs. Typically, a traditional ensemble would be hired for the purpose, and Buddhist scriptures would be chanted in Teochew, typically for blessings upon the community, or to help the departed find peace in the afterlife. Elaborate draperies of embroidered cloth are put up to decorate the worship hall, themselves artisanal masterpieces of Teochew craftmanship.

The Art of Teochew Music, Buddhist Sutras & Rhythmic Melodies

The STST Ritual Chanting Team has always been an integrated part of STST’s history since its establishment. With various understudy training programs with their grand masters, the ritual team expanded in various temples through a unique training program that consists of traditional Teochew music, ensemble playing, Buddhist scriptures and the art of pronunciation of Teochew words with rhythmic accuracy. Proficiency in these practices is a necessity before one can be appointed as a ritual master.  

In a typical performance, ritual teams require about 25 and more performers. They consist of percussionists, Chinese instruments musicians and chanting masters. The combination of every performer is needed to ensure a smooth harmonized tune and melody be presented, bringing out the holiness of the Buddhism sutras in a unique and fascinating rhythm, mesmerizing its audience.