Piety on parade: A decorated float is accompanied by a candlelight procession in Bukit Mertajam. - GARY CHEN / The Star
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Some 10,000 pilgrims lined the streets for the annual St Anne’s Novena and Feast Day candlelight procession.
It was held in conjunction with the 126th anniversary of the celebration of the St Anne’s Shrine (formerly known as St Anne’s Church) here.
The 3km-long procession of beautifully-decorated floats began at about 8.10pm after mass.
It started from the church in Jalan Kulim and passed through Jalan Kg Baru, Jalan Berjaya and Jalan Maju before returning to the church at about 9.15pm.
The main float carried the statues of St Anne and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The festival also saw many stalls, set up around the church and along the streets, enjoying brisk business. Pilgrims were seen buying candles and fresh flowers.
Shutterbugs were also seen snapping pictures of the procession.
The feast is celebrated by Catholics to honour Jesus Christ’s grandmother St Anne.
The 10-day feast, with the theme “Called, Chosen, Sent”, began on Friday and ends on Aug 3.
Pilgrims enjoyed free meals to be provided by the church throughout the 10-day event.
The church expects a total turnout of 120,000 people.