THOUSANDS of people flocked to Jelapang for the Chinese New Year Carnival held over the weekend.
Many did not mind the drizzle as they began to arrive at the town in the Kinta district, waiting patiently for the eye-dotting ceremony of the country’s longest dragon.
The eye-dotting ceremony symbolises the spirit of the dragon coming alive.
As the clock struck 6pm, the eyes of the 154.8m-long dragon were dotted and the dragon dance performance began on the main street, amid colourful lanterns hung on street lamps and across the street.
Apart from the dragon dance, there were lion dances, cultural dances and a Chinese orchestra performance.
Along the street were a variety of Chinese New Year snacks on sale, including dried meat, cookies and flowers.
A dance troupe from Xiamen in China added to the festive atmosphere by putting on a cultural performance.
Over at the basketball court, Perak executive council member Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who launched the carnival, joined guests and contributors on the stage for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In his speech, Dr Mah said it was businessman Frankie Gui’s vision and initiative to have the event.
“He always wanted to have an extravagant programme in his hometown.
“With the assistance of the people here, his dream has come true,” he said.
In his speech, Gui said the carnival was meant to bring life to the sleepy town.
“I want to create a joyous and happy atmosphere to celebrate Chinese New Year.
“The carnival will spur the economic activity here and further promote our traditional Chinese culture.
“This event can strengthen ties between races and the community here can live harmoniously,” he added.
Gui thanked the people in Jelapang for making the event a success.
“I was worried at first that we would have problems holding the event because of a shortage in manpower and funds.
“Our dream came true as everyone, including the residents, businessmen and generous donors helped us.”
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