JENJAROM in Kuala Langat is the place to be during this auspicious period as the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple has pulled out all the stops to highlight the rat for its Chinese New Year (CNY) Lantern and Flora Festival.
This year, the theme is “Every journey in this world is a path to happiness” and the festival which started on Jan 23 is on until Feb 9.
The temple’s chief abbot Ven Jue Cheng said this year’s main theme was selected from the Year of the Rat CNY couplets by Fo Guang Shan founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun.
“We hope that everyone will be as intelligent as the rat, will do good deeds, say good words, think good thoughts and let the spirit of these three acts of goodness prevail in our society, ” he said.
The event, which began in 2004, has made the temple a must-visit destination every Lunar New Year.
This year’s main theme lantern is a revolving big flowery rat with lighting and music placed on top of an iron frame.
The rat’s body is decorated with beautiful traditional Chinese paintings of plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo and chrysanthemum.
The main theme lantern area is designed as a children’s playground with revolving Ferris wheel and animal-shaped tea cups signifying the turning of the Dharma wheel.
The Primary Lantern titled “The Arrival of Phoenix Brings About Auspiciousness” features a pair of phoenixes with strength, dignity and elegance on top of the historical gallery facing the mountain gate.
On both sides along the pathway from the mountain gate to the historical gallery are two rows of phoenix pillars to offer auspiciousness, good fortune and good luck to visitors.
The Secondary Lantern “Ship of Happiness”, with its passengers of happy children playing drums and gongs, is meant to usher in happiness to Dong Zen Temple.
The Tertiary Lantern “The Flowers of Good Fortune Blossoming to Usher in Happiness” are placed in the pond of Cultivation Centre.
At the Lumbini Garden, covered with hundreds of blossoming orchids that are locally grown in Dong Zen Temple, many animal lanterns and a traditional Malay kampung house can be viewed to signify the multicultural society of Malaysia.
There is also the 33 Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Street – The Path of Starlight Featuring A Series of Good Fortunes.
The Vegetarian Food Street offers a variety of vegetarian cuisine.
Fo Guang Publication is also organising a book fair at the Cultivation Centre.
An arts exhibition at the Main Lecture Hall include paper-cutting arts by Gao Hui Lan, Su Zhou embroidery arts by Yao Hong-Ying and Zen doodles created by 20 artists.
At the Art Gallery, there is Hsu Wen-Jung’s World Art Exhibition Tour which features his Chinese paintings, oil paintings and sculptures.
The “Sutra and Life” Lecture Series will be held from 4pm to 5pm at the Cultivation Centre, level 2, today and Jan 28 as well as Feb 1,2, 8 and 9.
Other activities include incense offering, bell striking, Thousand Buddhas Dharma Service, offerings to the Buddhas ceremony, offerings of lights Dharma service, cultural shows and costume parade.
This year, visitors can also look forward to a special programme, namely the “Jenjarom historical streets exploration”, which offers tourists a glimpse into the architectural changes of old houses in the village.
A short tour begins from Pak Teh coffee shop; enjoy some snacks and tea as you take a trip down memory lane at the Cultural Gallery where items of yesteryear are on display.
The CNY Lantern Festival is open from 10am to 10pm everyday until Feb 9.
Admission and parking are free.
The temple is located at PT 2297, Jalan Sungai Buaya, 42600 Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Selangor.
For details, look up FGS Dong Zen Temple on Facebook.
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