Lion dance on stilts performance (by youths) during Chinese New Year (CNY) festival in George Town.
Lion dance performers with their new lions getting blessing from the Kuan Yin temple in George Town before the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year.
A lions ‘eye-dotting’ ritual and ceremony organized by Penang Wushu Lion & Dragon Dance Association. Most lions found in Penang are of the Southern Lions design and style.
“A new lion usually undergoes an eye-dotting ritual which gives the lion its ‘spirit’, because it must be brought to life and filled with a spirit through a religious ceremony. This is most of the times by a Taoist ceremony but it can be performed by any person with a high social status. The areas to be dotted with red pigment called “Zhu Sha” are the eye, ears ,nose, horn, feet, and the body; usually only the eyes are done in a public ceremony. The light in its eyes resembles that the lion’s eyes have been opened with a spirit and the shield reflects the good light from the heavens, although other explanations can be given for the mirror.”
In conjunction with the Thaipusam Festival, today is a public holiday in Penang. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community annually.
On the last weekend, September 13 to 15, George Town hosted the 6th Malaysia Tua Pek Kong festival which was organized by the Poh Hock Seah temple community. There was also a Tua Pek Kong Procession with over 50 decorated floats from China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Macau and from East Malaysia too, held on 14th September. A similar procession was also held some years back.
Tua Pek Kong or Twa Peh Kong was reportedly a man named Zhang Li from the Hakka clan. His Sumatra-bound boat was struck by wind and accidentally landed on Penang island of Malaysia, which at that time had only 50 inhabitants. After his death, the local people began worshipping him and built the Tua Pek Kong temple there.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is an official harvest festival celebrated widely by the local Chinese here. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar during a full moon.
The Khoo Kongsi clan temple lighting up during a Heritage Night in George Town, Penang.
The Chinese Hokkien community would be celebrating the birthday of the Jade Emperor, or Thnee Kong Seh, today at 12am — the ninth day of the Chinese lunar calendar. As the clock strikes 12 midnight, the celebration would be kicking off with prayers often accompanied by the sound of firecrackers and offerings to the Jade Emperor. For the local Hokkiens here, this day is in fact celebrated even more extravagantly than the first day of Chinese New Year and is also known as the Hokkien New Year.