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
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 originated from this Prefecture in China.
Another view of the Temples Photos Exhibition
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 – note the urn which was used for the “Chia Hoay” Ceremony later on.
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.
Yeoh Chin Eng fanning the flame.
Yeoh Chin Eng explaining to members of the press the fundamentals of the Chia Hoay Ceremony.
Other members listening intently to the explanation.
Time to say goodnight. It was 12.30 a.m.
Fireworks Display watched by a large crowd.