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Thursday February 7, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday April 20, 2013 MYT 3:42:16 PM
WITH the serpentine zodiac less favoured by the Chinese community, shopping malls and hotels have opted for more subtle depictions and ingenious themes in their festive decorations to usher in the Year of the Snake.
Shoppers at Gurney Plaza find an array of lanterns descending from the sky over a mock Oriental Express locomotive at the central atrium, which marketing communications manager Peter Chan said epitomises the classic 1930s Shanghai theme.
At its main entrance fronting Gurney Drive, giant Peranakan-styled food baskets laden with ‘mandarin oranges’, ‘preserved fruits’, giant ang pows (red packets) and firecrackers provide a feast for the eyes.
“We wanted to depict what Chinese families usually served their guests back in those days, while at the same time honour the state’s Peranakan heritage,” Chan added about the display.
A stone’s throw away at G Hotel, its iconic giant G logo has been transformed into a smiling God of Prosperity caricature, clutching a scroll with the words Happy Chinese New Year, and a stone bearing the Chinese character for auspiciousness.
Inside, a giant, hexagonal lantern ‘illuminates’ the lobby with a dose of oriental charm, and is a symbolic portent that the Lunar New Year is just around the corner.
The hotel’s public relations executive Angie Chen pointed out that they are also using diamond-shaped motifs, arranged in a snaking mosaic form, to depict this year’s zodiac in a less overt way on their decorations and promotional material.
At Straits Quay, its Blossom of Spring-themed festive decor, with an abundance of pink plum blossoms, is meant to bestow wealth and prosperity upon shoppers.
A curved arch bristling with the delicate flowers, located at the Straits Court area, serves as the centrepiece, and is a popular photo-taking subject amongst visitors, especially when lighted up at night.
Along the idyllic shores of Batu Ferringhi, Hard Rock Hotel Penang is Rockin’ It Red with giant lanterns, phoenix-themed red packets, gold ingots and coins, dragon-themed guitars, and lots of red and pink peonies.
“In yin and yang terminology, a dragon and phoenix are complementary, and symbolises good relations. The guitars are symbolic of Hard Rock.
“The Chinese also believe that where there is flowers, there would be fruits, which represent growth
and rebirth,” said hotel marketing communications manager Grace Chiam.
In George Town, a giant, multi-tiered lantern stands tall outside the Gama Supermarket and Depart-
mental Store, drawing the attention of pedestrians and motorists at the nearby intersection.
It is also a popular photo-taking backdrop amongst shoppers, with the majestic Komtar Tower juxtaposed in the background.
Nearby, 1st Avenue revisits a bygone world of splendour with its Chinese Blessing Wordings theme, with decorations and festive events all focused on auspicious characters.
Advertising and promotions senior executive Cheong Sook Yeng said the main stage, transformed into an ancient study room, depicts a quartet of ‘Jiang Nan Scholars’ and the ‘Four Treasures of Studying’ – the brush, ink, paper and ink stone.
“We will be having calligraphy as well as Chinese character handwriting and crossword contests,” he said, adding that two statues of the God of Prosperity greet shoppers at both its entrances.
An elaborate, double-tiered oriental pavilion, courtyard, gazebo and lover’s bridge – designed to a Spring Romance theme for the Chinese
New Year and Valentine’s Day double celebration – take pride of place at Queensbay Mall’s central atrium.
“Spring is seen as a time of rejuvenation, when life prospers and love blooms,” said the mall’s marketing communications executive Jamie Yap.
Visitors to Sunshine Square are delighted with a giant Prosperity Hamper almost two storeys high, as they go about their festive shopping at the atrium.
The hamper, which contains RM28,888 worth of goodies, is the grand prize of the departmental store’s Prosperous Lunar New Year 2013 Contest. A row of lanterns and plum blossoms also greet shoppers at the main entrance.
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