GEORGE TOWN: The 122-year-old Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam turned into an fairyland of sorts as thousands of colourful lanterns set the temple aglow.
An air of festivity pervaded the temple’s official lighting ceremony as thousands of visitors flocked from near and far to witness the annual event aimed at welcoming the Chinese New Year which falls on Sunday.
Red and yellow lanterns as well as multi-coloured LED bulbs at the temple pagoda and its lower station were lit after a chanting ceremony, and the offering of joss sticks and incense to deities, led by temple abbot Rev Datuk Seri Seck Jit Heng.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng officiated the ceremony at 7pm yesterday.
Dark clouds and a drizzle at the start of the ceremony did not deter visitors from witnessing the ceremony to usher in the Year of the Snake.
Visitors were also treated to an exhilarating fireworks display while shutterbugs tried to get the best picture angle for their shots.
Temple trustee Datuk Steven Ooi said the temple will be lit up for a month until March 9.
“Starting from Chinese New Year eve on Saturday until Chap Goh Meh (the last day of Chinese New Year) on Feb 24, the temple will be open to the public from 8.30am until midnight.
“After the 15th day, the temple will be open from 8.30am to 10pm until March 9,” he added.