The Jade Emperor Temple

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The Jade Emperor Temple at the foot of Penang Hill.

During the ninth day of the Chinese New Year, Chinese Hokkien people will be celebrating the birthday of the Jade Emperor. This day is also known as the Hokkien people’s new year, and has its origin back during the Song Dynasty where Chinese Hokkien refugees were saved from being caught and killed by the Mongols on the same day of the Jade Emperor’s birthday. Hence, as gratitude and believing that the Jade Emperor had saved them, the Hokkien people soon marked this day as an important festival to be celebrated.

Most Chinese in Penang are Hokkiens, so this day is usually celebrated more widely (and ‘loudly’) here than the first day of Chinese New Year.

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