Design Village in Penang celebrating Chinese New Year with a stunning display of traditional decorations. Embracing the Year of the Dragon, the vibrant red lanterns and intricate ornaments adorn the outdoor spaces, creating a mesmerizing ambiance that transports visitors to ancient China. The celebration is not just about the festive allure but also a journey through the rich history of Chinese architecture. The intricate details of the decorations reflect the grandeur of ancient structures, offering a unique blend of cultural appreciation and festive cheer.
As the largest temple dedicated to Lord Murugan outside India, the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple located in the Botanical Garden (or Waterfall) area of Penang was built at a cost of approximately USD 3.1 million and took five years to complete. The staircase of 512 steps leading up to the new temple was found to be longer than the 272-step the Hindu temple in Batu Caves, Selangor. The temple complex and its hill area also houses several other Hindu shrines as well as a massive statue of Lord Shiva.
The new temple features were inspired from the South Indian Chola and Pallava eras and mainly used imported materials from India.
The old temple is popularly known as the Waterfall Hill Temple or Lord Murugan Temple in the island and is also the main site of the annual Thaipusam pilgrimage.
Thaipusam scenes at the compound nearby Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple in George Town, Penang.
Thaipusam in Penang paints a vivid tapestry of religious devotion and cultural spectacle. Celebrated annually in late January or early February, this Hindu festival honors Lord Murugan with a mesmerizing procession from Georgetown to the sacred Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple atop the Waterfalls hill area.
The highlight is the iconic Silver Chariot, adorned with devotees carrying ornate kavadis, creating a symphony of traditional music and rhythmic drumbeats. The atmosphere is electric as devotees showcase their unwavering faith through acts of penance, including body piercings and elaborate decorations (also known as Kavadi bearer). Thaipusam in Penang is not only a religious event but a testament to the island’s cultural richness and the harmonious coexistence of diverse communities, offering a must-see experience for locals and tourists alike.
This year’s Christmas decorations by Queensbay Mall appears to be inspired by space blue theme. Planets and stars can be seen hanging from the top while azure blue trees filled the ground floor of the mall’s main concourse.