TENS of thousands of people flocked to the Tow Boo Kong Temple in Raja Uda, Butterworth, to join in the Penang Chinese New Year Miao Hui (Temple Fair) 2011 celebrations.

The temple ground reverberated with thunderous sounds from Chinese traditional drums and other musical instruments during the fair which was held for the first time in Seberang Prai on Saturday.
The event, jointly organised by Carlsberg Malaysia, Guang Ming Daily, Sin Chew Jit Poh and the temple committee, featured Chinese cultural and modern dance performances as well as art and craft displays.

Thirty-eight ‘lions’, two golden ‘lions’ and two ‘oxen’ rushed onto the stage area as Carlsberg Malaysia deputy managing director Datuk Chin Voon Loong and Penang state exco member Phee Boon Poh struck the drums to mark the event’s opening.

A colourful 8.4m by 3.6m grand Carlsberg Fei (Happiness) float was the main attraction. Eight persons dressed as God of Prosperity later led the VIPs to watch a Chingay demonstration near where the float was parked.

The float featured three prancing golden ‘horses’ in the foreground as well as several white and golden ‘rabbits’ carrying gold coins and ingots to usher in the Year of the Rabbit.

Chin said the company chose the temple to hold the celebrations to further strengthen the rich Chinese culture and heritage that was evident among the community in the area.

“This is our third year supporting the Penang Chinese New Year Miao Hui and we are proud to bring our Happiness Float here to share goodwill and cheer with the people here,” he said.

The float, which was unveiled during an elaborate procession on Jan 11 at Carrefour Kota Damansara in Selangor, made its rounds in Ipoh last Wednesday and Thursday. It made an appearance in Butterworth on Friday.

In the temple compound, many visitors queued up to inscribe in gold paint, Chinese characters that symbolised ‘happiness’ on a red scroll while a few stalls sold Chinese calligraphy art pieces.

There was also a stall giving out free bite-size carrots, thnee kuih and onde-onde while another stall demonstrated decorating cup cakes with Chinese New Year designs.

Kang Wei Aun, 53, from Teluk Intan, demonstrated the art of making animal figurines using coconut husk brushes while another stall operator sold rabbit coin boxes made from coconut shells.

At another stall, women received free facial treatment using rice talcum and nylon strings to remove dead skin cells which is an ancient practice among Chinese brides on the eve of their wedding day.
Grandfather Ng Soon Ee, 63, from Seberang Jaya, said he brought his grandchildren Jardin Kang, 11, and Jadia Kang, five, to the event to expose them to the rich Chinese culture and traditions. – the Star

(Source: The Star PublicationsPhotos and Details at Happiness!)


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