The Dragon of Kampong Sar Kong... Fire from within...
沙崗, Sar Kong Village is situated at banks of the Kallang River. Hakka and Cantonese coolies arrived from China, stayed here waiting for jobs from the Kilns that made bricks that is much needed for the fast developing Singapore.
Mun San Fook Tuck Chee (萬山福德祠) founded in 1862 – provided food (normally just plain rice) for the newly arrived coolies, helping them top settle down. Once the temple also serve as a place to register and collect identity cards.
The dragon is made from straws from the padi (also known as Straw Dragon or 槄草龙). In Singapore, this Fire Dragon as part of its traditional temple event. The event starts with the temple members and devotees lighting the big joss sticks and stick them firmly onto the head, body and tail of the dragon. There was also the pearl ball which is also stuck with joss sticks.
The dragon is use to celebrate the birthday of the deity Tua Pe Kong (大伯公 or 福德正神 or 土地伯公). 伯公 pronounce as “Pe Kong”, is in Hakka and 大 adopted from the Malay word “Datuk”. As the local Malay name the deity, “Datoh Pekong” and eventually short from to 大伯公 or “Toh Pe Kong”
The early Hakkas came from Guang Dong, China to South East Asia to open mines. As they believe this disturb the earth, hence ask for blessing from this deity.
In the old days, after a walk along the "kampung" (village), the dragon came back to the temple and after paying its final respect to the Deities, was put to rest outside the temple. Here, they waited and let the joss sticks bring flame to the dragon, sending it off to the heavens with all the ills posted by the devotees.
Today the event will be held once every three years, devotees will parade the streets of Sim Drive. The Sar Kong dragon or 槄草龙 which now took about a year to make, will be kept for a much longer time before it is being put to flames.