Home > News > Community
Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 9:18:51 AM
by cheryl hewphotos by saiful bahri
This group of devotees from Taiping dressed as eight legendary generals attracted attention due to their striking face paint and costumes.
IPOH CITY burst with life and festivities as thousands of devotees and curious onlookers lined the streets to catch sight of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival procession.
The procession, organised by the Tow Bow Keong Temple, took place last Sunday to mark the birthday of the gods and the ending of the nine-day festival.
Temple chairman Tan Mung Lee said the procession was the biggest in four years, with 110 associations from as far as Johor and Penang participating.
“Holding such a large scale procession is costly. The temple was undergoing renovations in the past few years, so we held smaller scale parades.
“Since the renovation works have been completed, we wanted to celebrate the occasion and the festival together, thus the large-scale event,” he said.
The public began waiting at the roadside and assembling at the Tow Bow Keong Temple along Jalan Tokong as early at 6am to watch the procession and grab a few photo opportunities.
Once the parade started, the 110 participating groups began their 5km route around the city, passing by the Ipoh Padang and Yik Foong Shopping Complex before returning to the temple.
The crowd snapped pictures as large floats carrying statues of deities and decorated with flowers, sculptures and colourful paint passed by.
Devotees participating in the parade on foot carried flowers, dressed in traditional garb and some even towered over others by walking on stilts.
The more unique displays were a horse walking alongside its trainer and a float consisting of a “tree of abundance”, a tree decked with mandarin oranges, bananas and tortoise buns.
As with many Taoist processions, many devotees carried temple flags, but the most prominent one was a three-storey high flag advertising chicken biscuits.
Meanwhile, the Yik Foong Shopping Complex along the procession route lit up with life when the Kun Seng Keng Lion Dance Association from Johor staged a performance.
Several devotees in trance pierced their cheeks with long poles, fans and umbrellas.
Despite the rain that started halfway throughthe procession, the participants continued on and many spectators brought out umbrellas of all sizes and colours to shield themselves from the rain.
Chen Wern Chun, 70, watched the procession with a few friends safely under the shade of a large green umbrella.
“It always rains during the Nine Emperor Gods Festival celebrations, so we were prepared with umbrellas beforehand.
“It has been a few years since the temple held a large-scale procession like this, so I made it a point to attend,” she said.
Engineering student Shawn Wong, 24, was on a holiday from Kuala Lumpur and took the opportunity to take pictures of the procession with his digital camera.
“I am back in Ipoh to visit my grandparents and they told me about the procession, which is not something you see every day.
“Besides indulging in my hobby of photography, attending the procession also allowed me to see upclose how the festival is celebrated and the different traditions involved,” he said.
Tags / Keywords:
Northern Region, Family & Community, nine emperor god parade ipoh
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)