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Published: Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 11:19:37 AM

Thousands of people gather to celebrate national Christmas do

Joyful: The merry crowd at the national Christmas open house at the Esplanade in Penang.

Joyful: The merry crowd at the national Christmas open house at the Esplanade in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: The Esplanade ground was alive with colours, decorations and a feast of local delights as the sun smiled down on thousands who gathered at the national Christmas Day event.

Under the scorching sun, artificial snow showered down upon the stage as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the celebrations. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng accompanied him.

The revellers, including many tourists, started flocking to the open house which started at 2.30pm and continued until late into the night on Wednesday.

A couple from London, who wished to be known only as as Margaret and Dave, were extremely excited at being part of the festivity.

“It’s such a lovely atmosphere. We’ve never seen anything like this before.

“Although we are far from home, it still feels like Christmas here with all the colourful decorations.

“It is only the weather that is different. It is hot!” said Margaret.

Housewife V. Annamah, 50, said she never missed a festival open house event in Penang.

“It’s good to be here, enjoying the shows and food with fellow Malaysians of different races,” she said.

The crowd was spoilt for choice with local delicacies and treated to hours of entertainment.

The police ensured traffic was flowing smoothly along Light Street and streets on the fringes of the Esplanade ground.

Amid the merriment, a woman in her 60s caused a stir when she tried to make her way to the stage while the Prime Minister was making a presentation of cheques to organisations that had promoted the country’s arts, culture and heritage. police.

Najib gave cheques amounting to RM40,000 to four organisations – the Gabungan Persatuan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Melayu Pulau Pinang, Pertubuhan Belia Dramatis Pulau Pinang, Kumpulan Tarian Klasik Kalailaali Nadana Alaya and Pertubuhan Belia Sikh Malaysia.

Also at the event were Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, state executive councillors, members of the Penang state assembly and other state and national dignitaries.

The national Christmas open house was jointly organised by the Tourism and Culture Ministry and the Penang Government.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Family & Community, open house, christmas, esplanade, prime minister, chief minister, arts, tourism, culture, heritage

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