Sunday, 31 January 2010

Penang's Chinese New Year events

With Chinese New Year being just about two weeks away, I'm looking forward not only to our annual family reunion "Ooi Lor" dinner - it's so good to have my daughter back from Kuala Lumpur and my son back from Tanjung Bungah - but also the various programmes that are lined up around the city.

In particular, I'm looking forward to two annual events: the lighting up of the Kek Lok Si Temple in Ayer Itam from 6 Feb 2010 to 14 Mar 2010 and the Penang government's Chinese New Year Celebration on 20 Feb 2010.

We Chinese are the same and yet so different: the Hokkiens, Cantonese, Teochews, Hainanese and Hakkas are all from the same Chinese stock but there are slight and sometimes significant cultural differences.

So again, to highlight our different cultural aspects, there'll be seven thematic "little towns" set up in the George Town heritage areas of Chulia Street, Armenian Street, Soo Hong Lane, Ah Quee Street and Acheen Street for each of our communities. The celebrations start at 3pm and will continue until midnight.

As for the Kek Lok Si Temple, it's best to visit the place in the evenings when the 230,000 light bulbs and 10,000 lanterns are lit up for 33 nights. A bonus from this year is to admire the completed pavillion that covers the outdoor giant Kwan Yin statue. I think the sight will be fantastic!

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