Wayang at Ubin

The Wayang Stage at the centre of Ubin Town has had a colourful history. At one time, before a school was set up in Ubin by the residents, it was a classroom for the kids of Ubin. Even today, the stage is the focus of other major events on the island.

The Wayang Stage comes to life during celebrations of Tua Pek Kong's birthday and the Chinese Seventh Lunar Month or Hungry Ghost Festival. During the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Chinese traditionally believe that the gates of Hell are opened allowing spirits to roam among us. To appease the spirits, especially those who are lonely and have no living relatives, various traditional activities are held. "Hell Money" is burnt and offerings of food and other items are left as gifts for the spirits. Wayang or Chinese opera performances are held, with empty seats left at the front for the spirits.

In Ubin, these traditions are very much still alive. Open air authentic wayang performances are held at the Wayang Stage as part of traditional beliefs. In recent years, a geitai show is perfomed on the final night.
These are NOT a special performance put up for the public, but a part of the way of life of Pulau Ubin. Here is a chance to take part in an increasingly rare tradition. Take a bumboat there and enjoy what may be the last of these performances. Here's a little posting I did on the NDP moblog about this event.

The Wayang Stage in Ubin Town.

The temple that managed the Stage.

Back to exploring Ubin

Links References
  • Chua Ee Kiam, Pulau Ubin: Ours to Treasure, Simply Green, 2000

the ubin stories blog

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