Devotees carrying fruits and flowers on a tray during the chariot procession by the Sungai Ara Sri Bathra Kaliamman Temple to mark the end of the nine-day Navarathri Festival.
GEORGE TOWN: It was a heart-warming sight to see Chinese devotees joining their Hindu friends for a chariot procession to mark the end of the nine-day Navarathri Festival at the Sungai Ara Sri Bathra Kaliamman Temple.
Dressed in glittering and vibrant colours of traditional costumes such as saree, punjabi suit and dhoti, the devotees walked along the route from the temple in Sungai Ara to Relau accompanied by groups playing drums and singing religious hymns.
The participation of a Chinese temple float from the Relau Chinese Temple lent uniqueness and diversity to the affair.
A statue from the Sri Kaliamman temple was put on a chariot decorated with lights and flowers and pulled by two bulls.
Some devotees were also seen offering fresh fruits, flowers, coconuts and donations on trays.
The procession stopped briefly in Relau for devotees to feast on a vegetarian meal. The procession, which started at about 8pm, finally ended at the Sri Bathra Kaliamman Temple at about 1.30am.
Temple chairman M.K. Ramesh said it was the first time the 60-year-old temple had celebrated the end of the Navarathri Festival with a chariot procession.
“It’s also the first time a Chinese temple float and Chinese devotees have joined in the celebration.
“We decided to hold it differently this year as we aim to show the unity among the Indian and Chinese community.
“We will continue with this tradition in the years to come, and hopefully we can see more Chinese floats participating,” he said, adding that about 500 people took part in the procession on Monday night.
Ramesh noted that Navarathri was significant because devotees prayed to three goddesses - Durga (Goddess of Bravery), Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) and Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge) - for nine days.