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.
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.
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.
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.
Photos – courtesy of Peter Ho and Gary Khoo. Thank you, Peter and Gary, and a Happy New Year.
This is a very popular shopping mall in Penang and I also went there to see the Chinese New Year decorations. It is an eclectic mix of Chinese, Peranakan (Straits Chinese in Penang) and European, if I can say so.
At the entrance facing Gurney Drive, there is a very attractive Peranakan centre piece of the traditional basket (“sia na”), preserved fruits and oranges, beautifully arranged with lanterns complementing the décor.
In the atrium, interestingly enough, there is an “Oriental-Express” locomotive with lights and red lanterns giving it a very festive air. It is the locomotive that makes it unique and “European”.
Not to be outdone, some outlets decked their shops with Chinese New Year décor. To me Christmas in December, followed by Chinese New Year is my favourite time of the year.
I love checking out decorations at Shopping Complexes during festive seasons. Of course, one of my favourite places is Straits Quay and I find their decoration very tasteful and elegant. Walking into the foyer, one cannot miss the auspicious colour of “red” for luck.
Straits Quay has lined up many interesting activities for Chinese New Year, but there was one special event which I was lucky to chance upon and I am going to share it with you.
Such is the tapestry of life in Penang. That is why I love my beautiful island and will not trade it for anywhere in the world. A True Penangite, that is me.
I enjoy blogging and I started this site to blog about scenes of life in Penang, hence the name Penang Tapestry. I have not been able to start because I have been so busy blogging for Hokkien Kongsi, Penang helping to promote the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013. Please come and support this festival as the proceeds from this event are for Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital, Penang.
While covering and promoting this Snake Festival, I got to know the folks at the Snake Temple and they are really kind, wonderful and warm-hearted people. A person I got to know is Mr. Tan Chin Hin, the professional photographer based in the Meeting Hall of Snake Temple, who is also the Treasurer of Snake Temple Resident Area Committee.
While covering the Switching-on Lights Ceremony on 4th January, I was asked to be the “Master of Ceremony” as the Guest of Honour was Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik, and we needed to make announcements in English. I was in a dilemma as I was busy taking photos for my article with my trusty, little instant camera. So Mr. Tan very kindly offered to send me his photos. True to his word, he did the following day, and I would like to share them with you as they are so beautiful. I would like to thank Mr. Tan for his kindness and his generosity.
Thank you Mr. Tan Chin Hin for these beautiful photographs.
For more information on the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013 to be held on 15th February at the Snake Temple, Penang kindly visit http://ritalim937.wordpress.com/