Penang Weld Quay: Scenes from Jade Emperor’s Birthday Celebration

The celebration for the birthday of the Jade Emperor falls on the 9th lunar day of Chinese New Year and is celebrated mainly by the Chinese Hokkien community in Penang, which is also commonly referred to as the “Hokkien New Year”.

Two popular areas in Penang where this day is celebrated are the Jade Emperor Pavilion temple at Ayer Itam and the Clan Jetties area (such as the pictures below) at Weld Quay, George Town.

Penang Thaipusam

Pre-Covid scenes from the Penang Thaipusam festival held in 2019.

During the festival, the breaking of the coconuts is a ritual practiced by Hindus as an act of cleansing and also to symbolize the renounce of one’s ego at the feet of the presiding deity Lord Muruga (usually carried on a chariot). The most notable or intriguing scene from this festival is the kavadi-bearers, devotees who usually had their bodies pierced while undergoing a pilgrimage during the festival.

Thaipusam this year is on 18 January.

Penang Perspective: George Town’s Chinese New Year Celebration

The annual Chinese New Year celebration which is held in George Town’s heritage area. The celebration usually features various traditional arts and performance of the local Chinese culture.

Penang Snake Temple CNY Festival 2018

This year marks the 6th Ban Ka Lan Chinese New Year celebration at the Penang Snake Temple.

The Ban Ka Lan (or Flame Watching) festival is held annually during the Chinese New Year period, as a ceremony to predict the year’s economy by observing the intensity of the flames during the ritual. The festival is also held to celebrate the birthday of the deity of the snake temple, Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong.

Penang Thaipusam Festival 2018

Scenes from the Thaipusam festival celebration in Penang.
A Hindu festival mostly celebrated by the Tamil community every year, the Thaipusam festival for this year falls on the 31st January. The most notable or intriguing scene from this festival is the kavadi-bearers, devotees who usually had their bodies pierced while undergoing a pilgrimage as part of their offerings for their gods during the festival.

George Town Heritage Day Festival 2017 (7-9 July)

This year’s Heritage Day celebration and festival are being held from 7th to 9th July at the heart of the heritage zone in George Town, such as the areas around Armenian Street, Kampung Kolam and Ah Quee Street. The theme for this year’s festival is “Walk the Talk: Oral Traditions and Expressions”, which showcases the local communities’ culture and language/dialect such as Indian Muslim, Teochew, Malayalam and Telugu. There will be cultural shows, interactive activities and performances along with history-guided trails on the origins of the heritage streets in George Town.

The 3 days festival starts in the evening till the nights.