Worshipping at a Chinese temple

The visiting of temples and offering of joss sticks in deity and ancestral worship have become a prominent aspect in the cultural tradition of the Chinese community in Singapore. Temple visits on festive occasions such as the Lunar New Year and Vesak Day are a prominent aspect in the rituals of devotees. The Chinese temples in Singapore are mainly Buddhist or Taoist, and were built by the different immigrant dialect groups under British colonial rule. The earliest Chinese temple was built in the early 19th century. This and its subsequent counterparts were constructed under the various clan associations and with contributions by prominent Chinese merchants. They played a significant role in the social welfare of the respective dialect groups, only becoming less active when the clan associations developed into autonomous organizations. Today, many Chinese temples in Singapore have evolved into popular tourist destinations because of their historical value and intricate architecture.