31 October 2015 is the 19th of the 9th Lunar month, the third and last Guan Festival in the Lunar Calendar. On this day, as has been in the past years since 1948, Siong Leng has continuously performed in Thian Hock Keng at Telok Ayer Street.
Thian Hock Keng on these three festive days (namely 19th of 2nd Lunar Month, 19th of 6th Lunar Month and 19th of 9th Lunar Month) has become an important part of many old devotees and Nanyin enthusiasts' lives. Many would mark it on their lunar calendar and make it a point to come for this important event to pay respects to Guan Yin and to listen to Nanyin.
Many new faces also appeared at these events to appreciate this ancient music played refreshingly by the young faces of Siong Leng. From the smiles of the old faces as they followed the ancient rhythm, we can see the assurance that traditions will continue.
It was also heartening to hear laughters at the comical dialogues of the Li Yuan Xi (Pear Garden Opera) which were in the ancient Hokkien language.
As with tradition, since the time when the late Mr. Teng Mah Seng wrote the lyrics of the song dedicated to Guan Yin, this song would be sung by members of Siong Leng towards the end of the performance. Although the lyrics remain the same, the arrangements change each year. Each singer brought a refreshing interpretation of the dedications.
The next performance will be on the 19th of the 2nd Lunar Month next year that is 27 March 2016.