PENANG’S annual Chinese New Year do will be amped out to a whole new level this year, with celebrations being held over two days.
Previously known as the Penang Chinese New Year Cultural and Heritage Celebration, it will now be called Penangites’ Chinese New Year Celebration 2015 and will take place on Feb 28 and March 1.
The first-day activities themed ‘Street Humanities’ will be held at the George Town heritage enclave, namely Lebuh King, Lebuh Bishop, Lebuh Penang, Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Armenian, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Cannon.
The activities will start at 3pm and last until 11pm.
The first day will feature over 100 food stalls, street and cultural performances, exhibitions and demonstrations of dying traditional arts such as dough figurine-making and woodcarving.
The event’s working committee chairman Datuk Yeap Beow Chong said visitors could also visit more than 20 historical clan houses or temples located in the heritage precinct free of charge.
The second day’s ‘Cultural Extravaganza’ will feature a 274.3m-long dragon dance, a large- scale lion dance on stilts by four troupes, gymnastics, boria, Chinese orchestra, retro Chinese music from the 60s and sign language performance.
The day’s excitement will culminate with a fireworks display.
The events on the second day will be held from 8pm to 10.30pm.
“We decided to adopt a new publicity method for this coming event,” Yeap told a press conference after the launch of the mascot lanterns in Upper Penang Road on Saturday night.
“Eight adorable mascot lanterns, known as the ‘Prosperous Eight’, will be displayed separately at eight popular shopping malls.
“When the date of the celebration draws nearer, the mascot lanterns will be transported back and displayed at the event site,” Yeap said.
The two-day celebration is organised by the state and the Penang Chinese Clan Council.
Designed by local artists Albert Lee and Ong Hock Lye, the ‘Prosperous Eight’ have been adopted by Gurney Plaza, Queensbay Mall, 1st Avenue Mall, Aeon Bukit Mertajam, Straits Quay, Sunway Carnival Mall, Prangin Mall and Gurney Paragon Mall.
During the press conference at the E&O Hotel, Eastern & Oriental Bhd contributed RM200,000 towards the celebration.
Its corporate strategy director Lyn Chai and group hospitality director Michael Saxon presented the aid to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“This marks E&O’s ninth year supporting the state’s Chinese New Year celebration,” said Chai.
“We’re honoured to continue our long-standing commitment to support the festival that celebrates the rich culture and heritage of Penang.”
A song titled ‘Bing Cheng Ren Guo Nian’ (Penangites Celebrate Chinese New Year) was specially produced for the celebration by composer Lee Chai Huat and lyricist Kwoh Shoo Chen.
The song, mainly in Mandarin and Hokkien with snatches of other Chinese dialects, covers various aspects of the festival.
The song can be downloaded via the Penangites’ CNY Celebration 2015 Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pgcny2015 and lyrics are also available on the page.
Dances in tune with the song will be choreographed by Koay Poey Teik and staged at the event.