Brightening up festive spirit


The long dragon sculpture is the centre of attraction at the Esplanade. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

ILLUMINATED Chinese New Year structures at the Esplanade in Penang are drawing plenty of fans.

The sculptures are a sight to behold at night, especially the long illuminated dragon.

The stunning phoenix  decoration capturing the attention of visitors.The stunning phoenix decoration capturing the attention of visitors.

They were lit by state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin on Saturday to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Retiree Joe Yee, 68, who is from Kuantan, Pahang, was attracted to the beautiful structures.

“I came back to Penang, which is my hometown, before Chinese New Year with my wife but could not go back due to the movement control order and floods in Kuantan.

“I decided to have a quiet celebration here.

“The decorations are creative and beautiful and the place is bright and cheerful.

“They definitely put us in a festive mood.

“I have been snapping pictures of the sculptures and sending them to my friends in Kuantan who are also celebrating quietly at home, ” added Yee.

Nadzir and Amilah dropping by to pose with the sculptures.Nadzir and Amilah dropping by to pose with the sculptures.

Nadzir Mohd, 29, and his wife Amilah Latiff, 28, from Butterworth, were also busy taking selfies near the structures after a day of shopping and trying the local fare.

“We came here for the mee sotong and were surprised by the beauty of the structures, ” said Nadzir, who works at a government department in Kuala Lumpur.

“We could not resist taking pictures with the sculptures.”

Amilah, who works as a quantity surveyor, said the pandemic had dampened the Chinese New Year mood.

She noted that there were hardly any crowds in George Town like in previous years.

“The decorations which reflect the Chinese culture are significant in lifting festive spirits.

“We are happy that we could take nice selfies with the sculptures before returning to Butterworth, ” she said.

Eddy Kwan, 51, taking a wefie with his family.Eddy Kwan, 51, taking a wefie with his family.

The sculptures will be lighted up every evening from 7pm to midnight for a month.

Yeoh, when launching the celebration, said the dragon had always been a symbol of strength and vitality while the phoenix is regarded as a symbol of harmony and auspiciousness.

“Together, they represent harmony and good fortune and the hope for 2021 to be a much better year for all of us.

“I hope these sculptures can bring cheer to everyone during the Lunar New Year celebration this year, ” Yeoh added.

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