YELLOW lanterns hung along Cheong Fatt Tze Road (formerly known as Hong Kong Street) in Penang has been giving the stretch a luminous glow every evening.
They will be lit every day from 8pm until Oct 28 as part of an initiative by the Tow Boo Keong Temple to celebrate the Kew Ong Yeah (Nine Emperor Gods) Festival.
Many tourists and locals alike were spotted taking photos of the lanterns.
The festival’s organising chairman Datuk Seri Choot Ewe Seng said the initiative was also part of the temple’s 175th anniversary celebration this year.
“This is a special occasion and we are planning a series of events until the end of the month.
“The lanterns also light up the way to the temple,” he said during the lighting up ceremony recently.
Also present was Penang Tourism Development Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang.
About 250 people were present during the launch, mainly volunteers of the temple’s upcoming float procession. They all enjoyed a buffet dinner.
This year’s nine-day festival kicks off on Oct 20. There will be a procession of 93 floats following an 8km route starting from 6pm on Oct 22.
Another highlight will be a concert at 8pm on Oct 27 in memory of Penang-born singer Lee Yee, who died in 1980 in a car accident in Kuala Lumpur.
The festival, which falls annually on the first day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, is dedicated to the nine sons of Tou Mu or Goddess of the North Star, who is said to control the books of life and death.
Her sons, deified as jen huang (human sovereigns), are said to have the ability to cure sickness and bestow luck and wealth.
Devotees will observe a strict vegetarian diet for the entire festive period.
On the final day of the festival on Oct 28, a farewell ceremony to send off the deities will be held along Jalan Weld Quay.