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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.

Wesak Celebration on 23rd May at Sian Chye Tong, Hye Keat Estate, Ayer Itam, Penang

Sian Chye Tong commemorates Wesak Day annually with a grand celebration and a state-of the-art float beautifully decorated by their Youth Section.  This year it is no exception.

Members and devotees came from all over to attend their Wesak Day celebration on Thursday, 23rd May at 7.30 p.m.  Wesak Day is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the 4th moon of the Chinese calendar, which is on 24th May this year.  As we are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society Wesak Day is a public holiday in Malaysia and it is celebrated on a grand scale culminating in a procession of beautifully-decorated, brightly-lit floats in the evening.

Entrance to Sian Chye Tong

Grand Entrance to Sian Chye Tong

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong

Main Hall of Sian Chye Tong

Main Altar of Sian Chye Phor Sat (known as Baby God)

Main Altar of Sian Chye Phor Sat (known as Baby God)

Lighting of oil lamps by devotees.  Hard at work is Peter Ho, the maestro.

Lighting of oil lamps by devotees. Hard at work is Peter Ho, the maestro.

Official Ceremony starts with prayers to Lord Buddha and Sian Chye Phor Sat.  In red is Eddie Khoo, Chairman of Sian Chye Tong.  State dignitaries present - YB Teh Lai Heng and YB Danny Law.

Official Ceremony started with prayers to Lord Buddha and Sian Chye Phor Sat. From left to right Khoo Kay Hock, Loh Choon Teik, Alice Teoh, Eddie Khoo Gim Siew, Dato’ Seri Khoo Keat Siew, YB Danny Law, YB Teh Lai Heng, Hong Kian Beng and Gary Khoo.

Welcoming Speech by Loh Choon Teik, Chairman of Youth Section

Welcoming Speech by Loh Choon Teik, Chairman of Youth Section

Souvenir presentation to Patrons of Sian Chye Tong by YB Teh Lai Heng.

Souvenir presentation to Patrons of Sian Chye Tong by YB Teh Lai Heng.

Group photograph of Patrons with YB Danny Law, Eddie Khoo and YB Teh Lai Heng

Group photograph of Patrons with YB Danny Law, Eddie Khoo, YB Teh Lai Heng and Loh Choon Teik.

Wesak Day - a time of giving and receiving.  YB Danny Law giving donation on behalf of Sian Chye Tong to Linda Khoo who accepted the donation on behalf of Metta Mobile Free Clinic, Penang

Wesak Day – a time of giving and receiving. YB Danny Law giving a donation on behalf of Sian Chye Tong to Linda Khoo who accepted it on behalf of Metta Mobile Free Clinic, Penang.

YB Teh Lai Heng, State Assemblyman of Komtar, giving a speech.

YB Teh Lai Heng, State Assemblyman of Komtar, giving a speech.

Wesak Day Celebration officially declared open. Down came the confetti. (Photograph taken by Peter Ho.)

Wesak Day Celebration officially declared open. Down came the confetti. (Photograph taken by Peter Ho.)

Float of Sian Chye Tong (photograph taken by Peter Ho).

Float of Sian Chye Tong (photograph taken by Peter Ho).

Devotees praying at Main Altar

Devotees praying at Main Altar.

Devotees taking holy water.

Devotees taking holy water.

Lighting oil lamps for world peace.

Lighting oil lamps for world peace.

Thank you Peter Ho for the beautiful photographs.  Much appreciated.

Penang World Music Festival 2013

This event is organized by the Penang State Tourism and a preview was held at Khoo Kongsi, Cannon Square, Penang during the evening of Friday, 29th March 2013.  The actual 2-day festival will be held at Penang Botanic Gardens from 6.00 p.m. to 12 midnight on Saturday, 30th March 2013 and Sunday, 31st March 2013.

For more information please visit http://www.penangworldmusic.gov.my/

Penang World Music Festival 2013

Penang World Music Festival 2013

Participants of the Penang World Music Festival 2013

Participants from Iran to the Penang World Music Festival 2013

Participants from Brazil

Participants from Brazil

From left to right - Khoo Kee Chooi, Dato' Seri Khoo Keat Siew (President of Khoo Kongsi, Penang), Khoo Boo Hong, Y.B. Danny Law and Khoo Kay Hock

From left to right – Khoo Kee Chooi, Dato’ Seri Khoo Keat Siew (President of Khoo Kongsi, Penang), Khoo Boo Hong, Y.B. Danny Law and Khoo Kay Hock

From left to right - Datin Seri Daisy Khoo, Dato' Seri Khoo Keat Siew, Chief Minister of Penang Y.A.B. Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Y.B. Danny Law

From left to right – Datin Seri Daisy Khoo; Dato’ Seri Khoo Keat Siew; Chief Minister of Penang, Y.A.B. Tuan Lim Guan Eng and Y.B. Danny Law

Chief Minister of Penang, Y.A.B. Tuan Lim Guan Eng giving a speech

Chief Minister of Penang, Y.A.B. Tuan Lim Guan Eng giving a speech

Local Penang Hawkers fare being served to spectators and visitors.

Local Penang Hawkers fare being served to spectators and visitors.

Inka Marka from South American performing for the  crowd

Inka Marka from South America performing for the crowd

Participants from Japan listening to the music

Participants from Japan (on the left) listening to the music

Oratniza from Bulgaria performing for the spectators (note the mother and daughter vocalists on the left)

Oratnitza from Bulgaria performing for the spectators (note the mother and daughter vocalists on the left)

Y.B. Danny Law with participants to Penang World Music Festival 2013

Y.B. Danny Law with participants to the Penang World Music Festival 2013 in front of the iconic Khoo Kongsi, Heritage Jewel of Penang.

Chinese New Year at New World Park, Penang

Chinese New Year is a round of dinners and on the evening of Saturday, 16th February we went to Starview Restaurant at New World Park for our annual dinner.  It was the same day as the Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration in Inner City of Georgetown and the place was pretty quiet, as most people were attending the celebration in the Heritage Enclave.

I personally love this al fresco type of mall.  The open air concept gives their management an opportunity to landscape the mall and make it full of greenery, unlike some other places where there is no opportunity to do so. 

The place has a performing stage and a food court, where the famous Swatow Lane Ice Kachang is now the main tenant.  This business was started by two Lee Brothers, who had since passed on leaving their 2nd and 3rd generation family members to run the business.  As I know them quite well, I asked them to pose for me and they obliged.

Had our Annual Dinner at Starview Restaurant

Had our Annual Dinner at Starview Restaurant

Cultural Drum Performance on the Perfoming Stage outside Starview Restaurant

Cultural Drum Performance on the Performing Stage outside Starview Restaurant

The OHL Gallery with beautiful wood carvings

The OHL Gallery with beautiful wood carvings

OHL Gallery - Memories of Penang

OHL Gallery – Memories of Old Penang

Shopping Area New World Park decorated with Chinese New Year lanterns

Shopping Area of New World Park decorated with Chinese New Year lanterns

Diners eating outside the Bistro

Diners eating outside Mizi Bistro – it was quiet for a Saturday evening.

To the Food Court.  Although it was a Saturday night, it was pretty quiet at New World Park because people were at the Chinese New Year Cultural and Heritage Celebration at the Heritage Enclave of Georgetown.

To the Food Court at the rear of New World Park.  Notice how quiet it was because most people were at the Chinese New Year Cultural and Heritage Celebration at the Heritage Enclave of Georgetown.

Lee family at their Swatow Lane Ice Kachang Stall

Lee family members at their Swatow Lane Ice Kachang Stall

Met Chai Sin Yeah in New World Park.

Met Chai Sin Yeah in New World Park.

Making my way to the Main Entrance fronting Jalan Burma.

Making my way to the Main Entrance fronting Jalan Burma.

New World Park's Chinese New Year Decoration.

New World Park’s Chinese New Year Decoration at Entrance of Jalan Burma

Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration – outside Khoo Kongsi

As I was leaving Khoo Kongsi, I saw beautiful stalls from various hotels along Lebuh Cannon, just outside Khoo Kongsi.  Then I went over to Lim Kongsi to have a look around.  As I said I was early and the people involved were still setting up their stalls, but I did manage to get some nice photos to share with you.

Staff from Eastin Hotel still putting on the finishing touches.

Staff from Eastin Hotel still putting on the finishing touches.  Notice the snake motifs.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang

Stall with the laughing Buddha

Stall with the laughing Buddha

The hotel stalls were starting to prepare the food as it was almost 2.45 p.m

The hotel stalls were starting to prepare the food as it was almost 2.45 p.m.

Staff busy with food preparation to get ready for the crowd.

Staff busy with food preparation to get ready for the crowd.

The beautiful Yeap Kongsi

The beautiful Yeap Kongsi

Arch with the stage area in the background for the official programme and show at 5.00 p.m.

Arch with the stage area in the background for the official programme and show at 5.00 p.m.

Girls from Penang Chinese Girls' Private High School with their intricate paper cuts and gorgeous paper craft.

Girls from Penang Chinese Girls’ Private High School with their intricate paper cuts and gorgeous paper craft at Lim Kongsi, Penang

Beautiful beaded craft for sale at Lim Kongsi, Penang

Beautiful beaded craft for sale at Lim Kongsi, Penang

Lovely paintings at Soo Hong Lane.

Lovely paintings at Soo Hong Lane.

Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration at Khoo Kongsi, Penang

The All Chinese Clans had their annual Chinese New Year celebration from 3.00 p.m. to 12 midnight on Saturday, 16th February.  After contending with the crowd at the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival for 2 days, I decided to give this event a miss and did a sneak preview instead.  I went at 2.15 p.m. to see the setting up of the heritage enclave for the celebration and I was rewarded with a lot of interesting scenes (minus the crowd) so that I can take photographs undisturbed.

Of course, at Khoo Kongsi, people were denied entrance until 3.00 p.m. but I had a special pass to enter the premises.  I found there were passengers from a cruise ship waiting inside as they had bought tickets much earlier as part of their package cruise deal to see Khoo Kongsi, Penang.  I am sure they were disappointed in not being able to enter Khoo Kongsi itself, but they were rewarded with the beautifully-decorated courtyard.

At the entrance to Khoo Kongsi, Penang.  People were milling around waiting to go in at 3.00 p.m.

At the entrance to Khoo Kongsi, Penang. People were milling around waiting to go in at 3.00 p.m.

The walk into the courtyard of Khoo Kongsi, Penang. Wow.

The walk into the courtyard of Khoo Kongsi, Penang. Wow.

The gorgeous centre-piece greeting visitors as they walk in.

The gorgeous centre-piece greeting visitors as they walk in.  Another Wow.

Beautiful girls handing out programmes of the Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration

Pretty girls handing out programmes of the Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration.

Visitors from the cruise ship waiting patiently for the celebration to begin at 3.00 p.m.  What a friendly lot.

Visitors from the cruise ship waiting patiently for the celebration to begin at 3.00 p.m. What a friendly lot.

Wow, what a beautiful-decorated courtyard.

Fantastic!

Schoolboys all ready to teach visitors to play Chinese Checkers.

Schoolboys all ready to teach visitors to play Chinese Checkers.

Table for calligraphy.

Table for calligraphy.

All set up for a memorable musical afternoon/evening at Khoo Kongsi, Penang

All set up for a memorable musical afternoon/evening at Khoo Kongsi, Penang

Mr. & Mrs. Lim running the souvenir shop at Khoo Kongsi, Penang

Mr. & Mrs. Lim running the souvenir shop at Khoo Kongsi, Penang

Souvenir shop with a wide array of souvenirs.

Souvenir shop with a wide array of gifts.

Happy New Year from Khoo Kongsi, Penang.

Happy New Year from Khoo Kongsi, Penang.