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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.

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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.

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.

Snake Temple – Flame Watching Ceremony by Cheng Hoe Seah on 14th February

On the eve of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong’s Birthday, temples in Penang praying to this deity will bring their urns from 11.30 p.m. for the Flame Watching Ceremony.  I have never witnessed one before and it proved to be an interesting, albeit hot and smoky, experience. 

I went early to have a walk around and also to attend the official praying ceremony by the Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and the official Festival Flame Lighting Ceremony by Mr. Teng Chang Yeow, which is covered at http://ritalim937.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/flame-watching-ceremony-at-snake-temple-penang-on-14th-february-2013/.

In this article I will try to show you the actual “Chia Hoay” ceremony by Cheng Hoe Seah, though I must say with the crowd, it was hard to get anywhere near the actual ceremony itself.  The height of the flame will give an indication of the economy of Penang for 2013.

If you want to know where Cheng Hoe Seah is, please visit http://ritalim937.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/where-is-hokkien-kongsi-penang/ for more information.

Devotees praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong

Devotees praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong

Wagleri pit vipers (common name temple pit vipers) were specially brought out to put on display for the spectators.

Wagleri pit vipers (common name temple pit vipers) were specially brought out to put on display for the spectators.

My Mandarin-speaking guide, Cheah Hock Cheok, showing me where Cheang Chew Association was at the Temples Photos Exhibition. We all come from this Prefecture in China.

My Mandarin-speaking guide, Cheah Hock Cheok, showing me where Cheang Chew Association was at the Temples Photos Exhibition. We all originated from this Prefecture in China.

Another view of the Temples Photos Exhibition

Another view of the Temples Photos Exhibition

My favourite shot - looking out from Kuan Yin Pavillion to the lighted Gazebo.

My favourite shot – looking out from Kuan Yin Pavillion to the lighted Gazebo.

Taiost priest and Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang paying their respects at Cheng Hoe Seah Booth.

Taiost priest and Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang paying their respects at Cheng Hoe Seah Booth – note the urn which was used for the “Chia Hoay” Ceremony later on.

Yeoh Chin Eng of Cheng Hoe Seah putting in joss-sticks for the Chia Hoay Ceremony. They he will fan the flame and watch the height of the flame.

11-30 p.m. – Yeoh Chin Eng of Cheng Hoe Seah putting in joss-sticks for the Chia Hoay Ceremony. They he would fan the flame and watch the height of the flame.

Mr. Teng Chan Yeow, Guest of Honour, fanning the flame.  (Said at the press conference later on, he was only the co-pilot, Yeoh Chin Eng was the pilot)

Yeoh Chin Eng fanning the flame.

Yeoh Chin Eng explaining to members of the press the fundamentals of the Chia Hoay Ceremony.

Yeoh Chin Eng explaining to members of the press the fundamentals of the Chia Hoay Ceremony.

Other members listening intently to the explanation.

Other members listening intently to the explanation.

Time to say goodnight.  It was 12.30 a.m.

Time to say goodnight. It was 12.30 a.m.

Fireworks Display watched by a large crowd.

Fireworks Display watched by a large crowd.

Sian Chye Tong, Hye Keat Estate, Air Itam, Penang

The main deity in Sian Chye Tong is Sian Chye Phor Sat (Kumara Sudhana Bodhisattva) popularly known as “Baby God”.  In Penang, all temples celebrate Chinese New Year by switching on their lights to usher in the new year and Sian Chye Tong is no exception.  To welcome the Year of the Snake, they have installed approximately 500 red lanterns together with LED lighting and these will be switched on daily from 7.30 p.m. to 12 midnight.   

It is a glorious sight to behold for devotees visiting the temple to seek the blessing of Sian Chye Phor Sat during the new year.  On Chinese New Year’s eve, prayers will be held and candles will be lit to ask for good health, good luck and prosperity.

They will have an open house to celebrate Chinese New Year at 7.00 p.m. on Saturday, 23rd February with a buffet dinner.

Sian Chye Tong

Sian Chye Tong

Altar of Amitabha Buddha & Bodhisattva

Altar of Amitabha Buddha & Bodhisattva

Altar off Amitabha Buddha

Altar of Amitabha Buddha

Kuan Yin - Bodhissattva Of Compassion

Kuan Yin – Bodhissattva of Compassion

Sian Chye Phor Sat

Sian Chye Phor Sat

Photos – courtesy of Peter Ho and Gary Khoo.  Thank you, Peter and Gary, and a Happy New Year.