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.
An old art work featuring a Kavadi bearer located nearby the Indian temple, Sree Maha Mariamman Temple, in Butterworth.
A Kavadi carrier walking through the crowded road to the temple during the Thaipusam festival in Penang.
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.
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.
The Chinese Southern Lions Dance is a common sight in Penang during the celebration period of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Today marks the birthday of the Jade Emperor deity.
During the Chinese New Year’s 15-days period in Penang, the celebration for the birthday of the Jade Emperor will fall on the 9th lunar day of Chinese New Year. This day is particularly celebrated a lot by the Hokkien community in Penang and is also commonly referred to as the Hokkien New Year. There will be lots of prayers, food offerings and various festivities held for the Jade Emperor on this day. Two popular areas in Penang where this day is celebrated are the Jade Emperor Pavilion temple at Ayer Itam and the Clan Jetties area at Weld Quay, George Town.