We are nearly at the end of the seventh month of the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival with the last day on the 26th of August. If you are in an Asian country, do check out the list of don’t dos during this festival and the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival that I wrote a while ago.
Recently, I took my children to visit one of my childhood parks – Haw Par Villa in Singapore. The last time I went was with my third aunty and cousins 30 years ago. I still remember that every child would have to take a photo with Confucius, hoping we will show humaneness, righteousness and filial. Needless to say, my modern children did not believe in this.
The park itself is free admission, but the Hell’s museum is a paid admission. It is located within the park, near the Visitor Centre. The museum stretches over 3,800 sqm and is an indoor and outdoor exhibition exhibiting the world’s major belief systems and how different communities around the world, as well as in Singapore, draw meaning from death and the afterlife. It also provides a deeper understanding of Haw Par Villa’s infamous 10 Courts of Hell on how concepts behind the graphic representations of sins and punishments in the afterlife evolved as ancient civilisations shared their cultures across time and space. Each day, there are four guided tour sessions. Check out their website for more details.
Did you know how many officially recognised religions there are in Singapore? There are a total of 10 recognised religions – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, Taoism and others from the minority cluster. I did not have a clue until I went for the tour. I would definitely recommend you to book in with the free English tour guide hosted by their volunteers. You can gain more knowledge than just reading. There are also displays for the Chinese alter, Chinese funeral, Chinese grave and many more interesting artefacts. These are the figurines you will see in the museum.
I won’t discuss it in much detail as it would be better for you to check it out and learn the history yourself. In my next blog post, I will write about the 10 Courts of Hell in detail.
So if you are planning a holiday in Singapore, you might want to visit Hell’s museum. We paid $18 each as both my children are above 12 years old. Haw Par Villa park is located at 262 Pasir Panjang Road Singapore 118 628. It is very easy to get there by public transport, especially by MRT Haw Par Villa Station CC25 (Circle Line) or you can cycle there or drive there by car.