Lighting lamps for brighter year


Visitors admiring the lanterns at the temple.

THE Kek Lok Si Temple is taking on a fairy-tale look, with its Guan Yin pavilion, pagoda and temple grounds illuminated by thousands of lanterns and fairy lights for a fitting welcome to the Year of the Tiger.

A lighting-up ceremony will be held at the site in Penang at 7pm tomorrow, with a live feed of the ceremony to be broadcast for those who wish to watch from the comfort of their home.

Temple trustee Datuk Seri Steven Ooi said the ceremony would be graced by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

“The public is welcome to the temple grounds to enjoy the festive lights and soak in the Chinese New Year atmosphere.

“For those who wish to remain home, the ceremony can also be viewed online via Facebook.

“We decided to maintain the online feed like we did last year for those who prefer to watch from the comfort of their home. Some cannot make it to the event,” he told a press conference at the Guan Yin prayer hall of the temple in Ayer Itam yesterday.

Ooi said the 130-year-old monastery would be illuminated all the way up to the 33.6m-tall Guan Yin statue and the pavilion temple for 32 days, starting from tomorrow until Feb 28.

“We have over 10,000 different traditional Chinese lights.

“During this period, visitors are welcome to the temple and enjoy the colourful display.

“We will follow strict SOP and with the temple located on a 12.14ha (30 acres) site, the locals and tourists will be safely spread out as the area is vast and it’s open air.

“There is no controlling or limitation on the number of visitors.

“We also have ample parking for everyone. Only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed in,” he said.

Ooi said the temple would also have its annual 10,000 Buddha Dharma assembly from Feb 15 to Feb 28 for those who want to light the lamp for blessing.

“It is our Chinese New Year blessing ceremony, where devotees can come and sponsor a lamp that will be kept lit for them during the month as well as seek blessings during the Dharma assembly,” he added.

Ooi said the temple would be open from 8.30am to midnight (Jan 31 to Feb 9), 8.30am to 11pm (Feb 10 to Feb 15) and 8.30am to 10pm (Feb 16 to Feb 28).

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