Tag Archive | chinese new year

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.

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.

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.

Chinese New Year Decorations at Gurney Plaza, Penang

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.

Traditional Peranakan decoration at Gurney Drive Entrance of Gurney Plaza

Traditional Peranakan decoration at Gurney Drive Entrance of Gurney Plaza

European style "Orient Express" Locomotive at Main Atrium

European style “Oriental Express” Locomotive at Main Atrium

Red lanterns and lights hanging at Atrium giving it a very festive air

Red lanterns and lights hanging at Atrium giving it a very festive air

Body Shop

The Body Shop looking very attractive with its Chinese New Year decor

Astro promoting its products on the Ground Floor

Astro promoting its products on the Ground Floor

Promotion - buy a luggage bag and you get an artist painting it and putting a protective layer over the picture at no extra charge

Promotion – buy a luggage bag and you get an artist painting it and putting a protective layer over the picture at no extra charge

Good luck, good health and prosperity for the Year of the Snake.

Good luck, good health and prosperity for the Year of the Snake.

Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong, Penang

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.

Straits Quay

Straits Quay, Penang

Foyer selling Chinese New Year goodies

Foyer selling Chinese New Year goodies

Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air

What a gorgeous centrepiece in the Main Foyer

What a gorgeous centre-piece in the Main Foyer

Looking down from the staircase in the Main Foyer

Looking down from the staircase in the Main Foyer

After dinner, while walking  along the promenade, I chanced upon a very public marriage proposal.

After dinner, while walking along the promenade, I chanced upon a very public marriage proposal……

.....and acceptance - much to the delight of the crowd.

…..and acceptance – much to the delight of the crowd.

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.

Happy New Year from Penang.

Happy New Year from Penang.

Tapestry of Life in Penang – at Snake Temple, Penang, Malaysia

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.

On the left of photo is Mr. Tan Chin Hin, the professional photographer in the Meeting Hall of Snake Temple (photo taken by Writer)

On the left of photo is Tan Chin Hin, the professional photographer in the Meeting Hall of Snake Temple (photo taken by Writer)

Wagleri Pit Vipers, reared by Tan Chin Hin and his partners, for Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Wagleri Pit Vipers, reared by Tan Chin Hin and his staff, for Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and friends waiting for the arrival of the Guest of Honour, Y.B. Dato' Abdul Malik, Adun Batu Maung

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and friends waiting for the arrival of the Guest of Honour, Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik, Adun Batu Maung

A pair of lions waiting to welcome Y.B. Dato' Abdul Malik for the Switching-on Lights Ceremony

A pair of lions waiting to welcome Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik for the Switching-on Lights Ceremony

Arrival of Y.B. Dato' Abdul Malik

Arrival of Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik

Lights, Camera and .....lo and behold, the lights came on at Snake Temple - start of the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013

Lights, Camera and …..lo and behold, the lights came on at Snake Temple, Penang – start of the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013

Happy New Year from Snake Temple, Penang

Happy New Year from Snake Temple, Penang

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The lights are now officially switched on for Chinese New Year

Supper time after all the excitement and the hard work.

Supper time after all the excitement and hard work

We would like to leave you with this beautiful image of Snake Temple, Penang

I would like to leave you with this beautiful image of Snake Temple, Penang

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/