Archive | February 2014

Family Evening at Khoo Kongsi, Heritage Jewel of Penang

Once a month Khoo Kongsi switches on its LED lighting for visitors.  It is usually on either the third or last Saturday of each month with Penang Global Tourism arranging cultural shows and performances for the spectators.  On Saturday, 22nd February there were drummers, Chinese Orchestra playing beautiful music, Chinese Yoyo and the main event was a Snake Show.  The crowd was held enthralled by the brave antics of the Snake Performer culminating in kissing a 16-ft King Cobra, not once but numerous times.  The whole evening’s entertainment was from 7 to 10 p.m. with souvenir stalls and hawkers food being sold for the spectators to take their dinner while enjoying their family outing at the beautiful and magnificent Khoo Kongsi.

Drummers starting off the evening's entertainment with the beautifully-lit Khoo Kongsi as the backdrop.

Drummers starting off the evening’s entertainment with the beautifully-lit Khoo Kongsi as the backdrop.

Family outing at Khoo Kongsi, Penang

Family outing at Khoo Kongsi, Penang

Performer dressed as Kwan Kong and friends.

Kelvin Lim dressed up as Kwan Kong together with friends.

Lim Soo Peng and friends.

Lim Soo Peng and friends.

Meeting of Toon Boon Tong during the Evening of Lights at Khoo Kongsi, Penang.

Meeting of Toon Boon Tong during the Evening of Lights at Khoo Kongsi, Penang.

Visitors watching the evening's performance while hawkers attending to customers' needs.

Visitors watching the evening’s performance while hawkers served customers.

Chinese Orchestra entertaining the crowd with sweet melodies.  Inset photos by Lim Soo Peng.

Chinese Orchestra entertaining the crowd with sweet melodies. Inset photos by Lim Soo Peng.

Visitors, family and friends enjoying their dinner while chatting with one another to the accompaniment of beautiful cultural music from the Orchestra in attendance.

Visitors, family and friends enjoying their dinner while chatting to the accompaniment of soothing and relaxing music from the Orchestra in attendance.

Chinese Yoyo.  Photos by Lim Soo Peng.

Chinese Yoyo. Photos by Lim Soo Peng.

Snakes and Pythons of the Snake Performers.  Top right photo a Penang boy with the python, Bottom photos visitor from China and his family (note the children standing a short distance once the father has the python on him.  Bottom right photo, visitor from Italy.

Snakes and Pythons of the Snake Performer.  Top right photo – a Penang boy with the python.  Bottom photos show a visitor from China and his family (note the children standing a short distance away once the father has the python around his neck). Bottom right photo, a visitor from Italy.

Snake Performer patting and kissing 16-ft King Cobra a few times during his amazing performance.

Snake Performer patting and kissing his 16-ft King Cobra a few times during his amazing performance.

Drummers came out for the final performance of the evening.

Drummers came out for the final performance of the evening.

Photos with the Snake Performers' pets.

Photos with the Snake Performer’s pets.  Girl in top left and right photos looking nonplussed wondering where was the head of the snake as it was curled into a ball.

What a brave little girl.  Unbelievable.

Snake Performer with his brave little nephew.  Looking at the little girl in the photo, I must say she is indeed one amazing little girl, fearlessly holding the snake.  Remarkable.

It was indeed a memorable evening for families and friends at Khoo Kongsi, Penang.  Hopefully they will look back at this Family Evening spent at Khoo Kongsi’s Evening of Lights with fond memories.  Thank you Lim Soo Peng for your photos.

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Hean Boo Thean Floating Temple at Sunrise

My friend, Michael Chuan, has taken some stunning photos of Hean Boo Thean and its surrounding at sunrise and I would like to share them with you.

Setting up for the photo shoot.

Setting up for the photo shoot.

Hall of Goddess of Mercy on Top Floor.
Hall of Goddess of Mercy on Top Floor.
Ground Floor of Floating Temple

Ground Floor of Floating Temple

Jetty for sampans to dock at Hean Boo Thean.

Jetty for sampans to dock at Hean Boo Thean.

View of Chinese Clan Jetties namely Lee Jetty, Tan Jetty and Chew Jetty.

View of Chinese Clan Jetties.

What an enchanting sea view at sunrise.

Enchanting and breathtaking seaview from Hean Boo Thean.

Majestic of sunrise.

Majestic photo of sunrise.

Taking a break.

Are you taking my photo?

Sunrise

Sunrise

Photographers taking photos of sunrise.

Photographers taking photos of sunrise.

Low tid

Low tide.

Interesting photo.

Interesting photo.

Thank you Michael Chuan for allowing me to blog these photos.  Much appreciated.

Chinese Clan Jetties at Waterfront in Weld Quay, Penang

After the visit to Hean Boo Thean Floating Temple, we made our way to Lee Jetty and Tan Jetty in search of dinner.  The beckoning lights of these Chinese Clan Jetties during Chinese New Year were very inviting.

Entrance to Lee Jetty, the first one from Hean Boo Thean Floating Temple.

Entrance to Lee Jetty, the one nearest to Hean Boo Thean Floating Temple (on the left as one faces the entrance to the Floating Temple).  Notice the Por Seng Tai Tay Temple to the right of the entrance – the Lee Clan and the Chew Clan pray to this Deity.

Brightly-lit Lee Jetty.  Inset - entrance to Tai Tay Yah Temple.

Brightly-lit Lee Jetty. Inset – entrance to Tai Tay Yah Temple.

Lee Jetty by day (photo taken by Michael Chuan)

Lee Jetty by day (photo taken by Michael Chuan).

At the entrance of the unlit Tan Jetty.  This is where the Burmah Road Temple comes to send off the boat during the Emperor's Nine Gods Festival on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month of the Chinese Calendar.

At the entrance of the unlit Tan Jetty. This is where the Burmah Road Temple comes to send off the boat during the Nine Emperors God’s Festival on the 9th night of the 9th lunar month of the Chinese Calendar.

At the end of Tan Jetty, we reached the side gate of the Thai Restaurant.  Inset the main entrance facing Hean Boo Thean Floating Temple.

At the end of Tan Jetty, we reached the side gate of the Thai Restaurant. Inset – the main entrance facing Hean Boo Thean Floating Temple.

We decided to call it a night after dinner. The visit to the famous Chew Jetty and Lim Jetty had to wait.

At the entrance area of the famous Chew Jetty where the Chew clan pray to Por Seng Tai Tay.

At the entrance area of the famous Chew Jetty where the Chew clan (like the Lee clan) pray to Por Seng Tai Tay.

Along the iconic Chew Jetty where they pray annually to God of Heaven on the 8th night of Chinese New Year on a grand scale attended by the Chief Minister of Penang and his family

Along the iconic Chew Jetty where they pray annually to God of Heaven on the 8th night of Chinese New Year on a grand scale, attended by the Chief Minister of Penang and his family.

At the end of Chew Jetty, there is a Tai Tay Yah Temple, Deity of the Chew Clan.  One can  also see fishing traps, speed boats collecting passengers and folks just relaxing.  In the distance, the Floating Temple "floating" at the Waterfront.

At the end of Chew Jetty, there is a Tai Tay Yah Temple, Deity of the Chew Clan. One can also see fishing traps, speed boats collecting passengers and folks just relaxing. In the distance, the Floating Temple “floating” at the Waterfront.

Next to the Chew Jetty is the Lim Jetty, all brightly lit up for Chinese New Year too.

Lim Jetty. Notice the the old photo of Lim Jetty taken in 1910 and the painting by a 15-year old artist, Khoo Ka Leong.

Lim Jetty. Notice the the old photo of Lim Jetty taken in 1910 (bottom left) and the painting by a 15-year old artist, Khoo Ka Leong (bottom right).
Lim Jetty.  Notice the two bottom photos on left and right - that is the Ong Jetty where there are no houses as the Ong clan bought houses and moved out a long time ago.  It is the venue for the Kew Ong Yah Temple in McCallum Street to come to send off their boat on the 9th night of the Nine Emperors Festival from 1st to 9th day of the 9th lunar month.

Lim Jetty. Notice the two bottom photos on left and right – that is the Ong Jetty where there are no houses as the Ong clan had bought houses and moved out a long time ago. It is the venue for the Kew Ong Yah Temple in McCallum Street to come to send off their boat annually on the 9th night of the Nine Emperors God’s Festival from 1st to 9th day of the 9th lunar month.

I was given to understand that there are two more Clan Jetties after the Hean Boo Thean Floating Temple (to the right as one faces the road to the Floating Temple) – the All Chinese Surnames Jetty and the Yeoh Jetty.  Will make a visit at another time.

Hean Boo Thean (Floating Temple) at the Waterfront by the Clan Jetties

As I have never been to Hean Boo Thean since its opening last year, a good friend offered to take me.  We decided to go at about 6.30 p.m. to take photos so that we could watch the transformation as day turned to night.  When the lights come on each night, the floating temple looks like a floating fairyland against the velvety night.

I shall attempt to share with you a most memorable trip using photo collages.

Our adorable tourist guide showing the way to Hean Boon Thean walking amongst the haphazard idyllic setting of pre-war houses established by the early settlers when they arrived from China by ships.

Our adorable tourist guide showing the way to Hean Boo Thean walking amongst the haphazard and idyllic setting of pre-war houses established by the early settlers when they arrived from China by ships.  Right bottom photo shows the exit staircase from the top floor.

The exterior of the Floating on the Ground Floor.  Top left photo shows the various clan jetties.

The exterior of the Floating Temple on the Ground Floor. Top left photo shows the various clan jetties visible across the sea.

Main Hall showing Main Altar in front with various Deities.

Main Hall showing Main Altar in front with various Deities.

Cabinet on right of altar showing various headgears of the Deities.  From left to right of bottom photos

Cabinet on right of altar showing various headgears of the Deities. From left to right of bottom photos – headgear of Hock Teik Cheng Sin, headgear of Chai Sin Yah and headgear of Ong Yah Bo.

Photos from left to right at the top - Altar of Tua Pek Kong, Central Altar at the back of Main Hall with various Deities, passage way into back of Main showing a grand intricate sedan chair used by Deities during processions.

At the back of Main Hall.  Photos from left to right at the top – Altar of Tua Pek Kong, Central Altar at the back of Main Hall with various Deities, passage way into back of Main Hall showing a grand intricate sedan chair used by Deities during processions.  Bottom photo on left – Chor Soo Kong whose placement is below the yellow robe of the right Deity at Central Altar.  Altar of Tay Choo Kong below Central Altar in centre photo at the bottom.

Leaving Main Hall on Ground to go upstairs located next to the kitchen.  Table selling praying paraphernalia for purchase by devotees.

Leaving Main Hall on Ground Floor to go upstairs using staircase located next to the kitchen at the back of property (bottom photo on left).  Top photo showing table selling praying paraphernalia for purchase by devotees.

Hall with Goddess of Mercy on top floor.

Hall with Goddess of Mercy on top floor.

Inside Hall of Goddess of Mercy.

Inside Hall of Goddess of Mercy.

Images of roof decorations, 24 filial piety and sea vista before the magical lights   came on.
Images of  Kuan Yin Hall, roof decorations, lanterns, statues of 24 filial piety and enchanting sea vista before the magical lights came on.

As the lights came on and darkness fell, one can see the magical setting started changing before one's very eyes.  Totally captivating.

As the lights came on, the magical setting started changing making it a most memorable experience.

Back to Ground Floor to capture photos when the Floating Temple is all brightly lit up.

Back to Ground Floor to see the Floating Temple by night.  Notice the lanterns with name tags – blessings for devotees during the lst lunar month to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Lights against the black velvety night sky.  Notice the moon between the Dragon's mouth and the lantern.

Lights against the black velvety night sky. Notice the moon between the Dragon’s mouth and the lantern in top right photo.

Retracing our steps for a well-earned dinner.  What a memorable experience watching the magical transformation.

Retracing our steps for a well-earned dinner. What a memorable experience watching the magical transformation.

Thank you to my wonderful tourist guide and most patient companions, waiting for me to take countless photos while their stomachs must have been calling out for dinner.

Chinese New Year Open House at Sian Chye Tong, Air Itam, Penang

Sian Chye Tong held its open house on the 16th day of the 1st lunar month (corresponding to 15th February 2014). It was attended by devotees and well-wishers.  The temple was brightly lit with a magnificent horse in the Main Hall as the centre piece.  At 8 p.m. there was a lion dance, followed by drummers and a dragon dance.

Sian Chye Tong at dusk.

Sian Chye Tong at dusk.

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong.

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong.

Interior of Sian Chye Tong.

Rich and opulent interior of Sian Chye Tong.

Hosts and Guests enjoying themselves at the Open House.

Hosts and Guests enjoying themselves at the Open House.

Sian Chye Tong celebrates the Year of the Horse with this beautiful white horse.

Sian Chye Tong celebrates the Year of the Horse with this beautiful white horse.

Lion Dance to pay homage to Baby God and all the Deities at the Main Altar.

Lion Dance paying homage to Baby God and all the Deities at the Main Altar.

Drummer Boys entertaining the guests.

Drummers entertaining the guests.

Lou Sang at Sian Chye Tong.

Tossing of Yee Sang at Sian Chye Tong.

Dragon Dance - paying homage to Baby God.

Dragon Dance – paying homage to Baby God.

Sian Chye Tong.

Sian Chye Tong all lit up to celebrate the Year of the Horse.

Gong Xi Fa Cai.  Sian Chye Tong wishes all devotees a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  Till we meet again in the Year of the Goat, blessings from Baby God.

Horses and Zodiac Signs at Ban Ka Lan Festival 2014

This event was jointly organised by Hokkien Kongsi, Penang; Penang State Tourism Development and Culture and the Snake Temple Area Residents Committee at Snake Temple, Jalan Tokong Ular on the evening of Tuesday, 4th February 2014.  It was on the 5th day of Chinese New Year which is the Year of the Horse.

As one walked into the venue along Jalan Tokong Ular there was an air of gaiety and festivity.  We went early at 5.30 p.m. to be in time for the official event at 7.30 p.m. and it was a good time to to take photos before the crowds came.  There were the 12 beautiful zodiac signs on display with horses as well.  I shall try to share with you the photos I have taken with my little camera trying to capture the sights, essence and atmosphere of this gala event.

Organisers checking and preparing the stage for the Official Launching of the Flame Watching Festival 2014

Organisers checking and preparing the stage for the Official Launching of the Flame Watching Festival 2014

Jalan Tokong Ular, Venue of the Ban Ka Lan Festival 2014

Jalan Tokong Ular, Venue of the Ban Ka Lan Festival 2014

Twelve Zodiac signs on display with the Horse taking centre stage.  The famous wooden horse is  usually on display at New World Park.  In main photo to Horse is Khoo Kay Hock, Yeoh Seng Hoe, Khoo Kee Chooi and Ong Hock Lye, creator of the Horse.

Twelve Zodiac signs on display with the Horse taking centre stage. The famous wooden horse is usually on display at New World Park. In main photo of Horse is Khoo Kay Hock, Khoo Kee Chooi, Yeoh Seng Hoe and Ong Hock Lye (creator of the Horse) of OHL Gallery.

Chor Soo Kong Temples from Penang setting up kiosks for the Chiah Hoay Ceremony which would commence from 11 p.m. onwards.

Chor Soo Kong Temples from Penang setting up kiosks for the Chiah Hoay Ceremony which would commence from 11 p.m. onwards.  Centre Photo below shows Cheng Hoe Seah kiosk.

For more details on the the Flame Watching Ceremony (Chiah Hoay) by Cheng Hoe Seah, please refer to http://ritalim937.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/ban-ka-lan-snake-temple-annual-flame-watching-festival-2014/

Take your pick of your favourite horse.

Take your pick of your favourite horse.

Dragons leading dignitaries to pay homage to Chor Soo Kong.

Dragons leading dignitaries to pay homage to Chor Soo Kong.

Official Launching Ceremony of the Ban Ka Lan Flame Watching Festival 2014.

Official Launching Ceremony of the Ban Ka Lan Flame Watching Festival 2014.

Star attraction of the evening - The Shanghai China Cultural Acrobatic Performance.

Star attraction of the evening’s programme – The Shanghai China Cultural Acrobatic Performance.

Chiah Hoay Ceremony by Cheng Hoe Seah at altar of Chor Soo Kong in Main Hall of Snake Temple.

Chiah Hoay Ceremony by Cheng Hoe Seah at altar of Chor Soo Kong in Main Hall of Snake Temple.

Prediction for Penang’s Economy for Year of Horse 2014.  First 4 months – average; next 4 months – good; and last 4 months of the year – average.