Ghost Marriages among the Singapore Chinese: A Further Note

Marjorie Topley

Edited by Jean DeBernardi

in Cantonese Society in Hong Kong and Singapore

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9789888028146
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206663 | DOI:
Ghost Marriages among the Singapore Chinese: A Further Note

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This chapter presents ceremonies which took place in a Dying House. The total cost of the marriage was approximately $200 Straits and a priest was engaged to see to the necessary arrangements. He was one of a small group of professionals belonging to a Cantonese branch of the Cheng I [Zhengyi] school of Taoism who earn their living in Singapore by performing at funeral ceremonies and at Cantonese occasional rites. The priest arranged for the “wedding” ceremony to be held in the temple, hired a room at the Dying House, bought or made all the necessary paraphernalia and together with his troupe of colleagues and disciples performed all the appropriate ceremonies. According to the Taoist priest in charge of the day's activities, Cantonese ghost marriages are still by no means rare in Singapore and he has been engaged to perform them by people, mainly women, of various occupations and income.

Keywords: Dying House; Cheng I; Zhengyi; Taoism; Singapore; Cantonese; ghost marriages

Chapter.  1140 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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