Tag Archive | flame watching ceremony

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.

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.