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Volunteers help spruce up temples and prepare for grand float procession


(From right) Prathoom, her grandson Peepoon and neighbour Umpai Namasiri, 42, helping to decorate the float at Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Temple in Burmah Lane, George Town.

(From right) Prathoom, her grandson Peepoon and neighbour Umpai Namasiri, 42, helping to decorate the float at Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Temple in Burmah Lane, George Town.

BUDDHIST temples, associations and units in Penang, are putting the finishing touches to their colourful floats for the Wesak Day procession today.

At the Malaysian Buddhist Association (MBA) premises in Burmah Road, the main float bearing a 3m-tall statue of Buddha was beautifully decorated with thousands of flowers donated by devotees.

Devotees were captivated by the ‘rooster head’ flower arrangement in front of the main float, symbolising the Year of the Rooster.

Penang Wesak Celebrations Committee (procession) chairman Lim Soo Peng said about 30 volunteers helped to decorate the float yesterday.

Over at the Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Temple in Burmah Lane, devotees were also busy decorating the temple’s float.

Temple supervisor Wan Pen Piyawat, 64, said the volunteers started decorating the float on Monday.

Spotted helping to decorate the float were nine-year-old Peepoon Prommee and his grandmother Prathoom Prommee, 60.

Volunteers decorating the float at the Penang Buddhist Association in Anson Road.
Volunteers decorating the float at the Penang Buddhist Association in Anson Road. 

Tourists and devotees also came in droves to visit the temple known for its 33m-long reclining Buddha statue which was built in 1958.

Called the Phra Chaiya Mongkol, the statue is commonly known to the local community as the Sleeping Buddha.

Friends from Shenzhen in China, Judy Dang, 36, Ada Fong, 32, and Ding Yong, 33, who are on holiday to Penang, offered prayers during their visit to the temple.

Volunteers at the Penang Buddhist Association were also seen adorning the association’s float with colourful flowers.

Fifteen floats will take part in the procession which will start from MBA at 6pm today.

The procession will pass through Pangkor Road, Kelawei Road, Burmah Lane, Peel Avenue, Macalister Road, Anson Road and Madras Lane before returning to the association premises at around 10pm.

Those who wish to visit the MBA in the morning can also check out the charity sale and charity food fair at the association premises.

Volunteers preparing for the Wesak celebrations at Medan Angsana in Air Itam, Penang.
Volunteers preparing for the Wesak celebrations at Medan Angsana in Air Itam, Penang. 

There will also be an exhibition and the bathing of the Buddha statue at the association’s Joo Hean Hall and Lim Poon Kim Memorial Hall respectively.

Wesak commemorates the Thrice Blessed Day of Gautama Buddha’s birth, His supreme enlightenment and His attainment of mahaparinirvana.

Meanwhile, Hindu devotees will be celebrating the Chitraparuvam Festival, also known as mini Thaipusam, today.

A chariot procession was held yesterday to mark the start of the annual festival organised by the Hindu Mahajana Sangam.

The chariot procession started from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Queen Street, passing by Chulia Street, King Street, Bishop Street, Penang Street, Victoria Street, Magazine Road, Datuk Keramat Road and Kebun Bunga Road before reaching the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Hilltop Temple at Waterfall Road.

The Chitraparuvam Festival is celebrated to commemorate the first full moon after the Tamil New Year which usually begins in mid-April.

   

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