CAPRINE replicas, vibrant blooms and oriental motifs are everywhere as establishments around Penang count down the final two days to Chinese New Year and the start of the goat’s reign.
Shoppers have ample photo-taking opportunities with elaborate backdrops at shopping malls while holidaymakers also find the ambience heightened at hotels.
Hotel Equatorial Penang has one cute family of goats strutting amongst cherry blossom trees, and posing proudly at a pagoda-like structure along with a giant gold coin and lantern.
At Sunshine Square, a giant floor covering welcomes all. Inside, pinkish blooms and colourful lanterns punctuate product displays and enhance the shopping fervour.
Queensbay Mall has once again erected an elaborate display, this time featuring a majestic palace garden with marble walkways, gazebos and golden trees with umbrellas as peony ‘flowers’.
Prosperity and love go together in a double celebration with Valentine’s Day at Gurney Plaza. Pink cherry blossoms are everywhere, even on the fur of a trio of fluffy rams.
With lanterns descending from above and a giant ink painting inscribed with an ancient poem about the sun rising, shoppers know that Chinese New Year, otherwise known as the Spring Festival, is here.
G Hotel Gurney’s giant G sign now sports a ‘tangzhuang’ — the traditional Chinese attire for males, complete with rounded hat and fan — that piques the interest of pedestrians and motorists alike.
Gurney Paragon Mall’s Red Lantern Walk, lined with approximately 1,800 orbs and lighted up every evening, has been a popular location for photo-taking among shoppers heading to and from the mall.
Fortune abounds at All Seasons Place, where a large bucket brims with gold ingots and coins, while plum blossoms and lotus lanterns add ornamental appeal.
Happiness is in bloom at Gama Supermarket and Departmental Store with peonies all around.
Meanwhile, a pair of golden rams majestically welcomes shoppers near the entrance.
Nearby, the 12 Chinese Zodiacs appear in eye-catching scenes at 1st Avenue Penang, alongside a mini bridge, gold bars, and trees with ‘leaves’ made of chopsticks.
“The Goat is the star this year, but we’ve also included the other zodiac animals so everyone can be blessed with prosperity and good luck,” reasoned its advertising and promotions executive Michelle Chow.
Oriental splendour reigns at Island Plaza, with a trio of rams popping up from behind flowering peonies and mandarin orange plants.
A Boat of Prosperity has ‘sailed’ into Straits Quay Retail Marina, laden with gold ingots and rice. Taking pride of place at the Straits Court, it complements the fish-themed ornaments inside the mall.
“It symbolises that everything will be smooth-sailing for the coming year,” its A&P executive May Lim said of the Chinese junk-inspired vessel.
Tourists at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa were pleasantly surprised when the God of Prosperity and lion dance performers made an appearance to heighten the festive atmosphere.
“We want to give our foreign guests a taste of local culture and celebrations,” said communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Giant mandarin oranges and auspicious Chinese characters, similarly perk up the atmosphere at Flamingo Hotel by-the-beach, Penang, much to the delight of guests.
On the mainland, newly opened The Light Hotel in Seberang Jaya welcomes guests with lots of lanterns, and a cherry blossom tree laden with gold.
“These elements symbolically celebrate the arrival of spring,” said PR and marketing manager Siti Fatimah Packeer Mohd.
At Sunway Carnival Mall, celebrations are an ode to history, with a backdrop highlighting the textile industry in ancient China aimed at bringing back fond memories.
“Textile is an integral compo-nent of the Chinese community’s heritage, and is especially important this time of year when people buy lots of new clothes to represent new beginnings,” noted marketing manager Sharley Ooi.