Peranakans, like the Chinese, were keen practioners of the observance of ancestral rites.
The highest and most visible expression of this devotion was the allocating of one room in
the house as the Ancestral Hall.
point of the Ancestral Hall is an altar consisting of two tables. The higher and larger
table is used for the ancestral shrine and the lower square table is for food offerings.
The main feature of the high altar table is the ornately carved, glided ancestral shrine
used to house the ancestral tablets of the family. A porcelain joss-stick holder, flower
vase and a pair of glass oil lamps can also be found here. Above the altar would be an
ancestral portrait, usually of the male founder of the family line. A wooden plaque
engraved with Chinese characters with a filial phrase would hang above. Below it, flanking
the altar, would be a pair of wooden panels inscribed with couplets or a pair of framed
embroidery silk pictures. To complete the picture, framed paintings and a pair of ornate
carved teak mirrors would decorate the side walls of the hall.
The Ancestral Hall was arranged in a
formal manner in keeping with the solemnity of the halls function and would be
furnished with English or European style teak, a carved settee and Chinese hardwood