Lantern wonderland beckons

  • Community
  • Thursday, 23 Jan 2014

THE 123-year-old Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam, Penang, will be all lit up on Sunday at 7pm.

Temple trustee Datuk Steven Ooi said workers had almost completed putting up decorations and installing lights and lanterns.

Work on the project to light up the temple started in December.

The lighting up is an annual affair that has earned the temple kudos for its effort in creating a fairyland aura during the nights over Chinese New Year.

“We are now testing the lights by lighting up portion by portion of the temple at night.

“A lighting ceremony will be held this Sunday at 7pm at the pagoda, and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is scheduled to be present,” he said.

Ooi said the decorative lights would be switched on from Sunday to Feb 27.

As in previous years, devotees can donate between RM50 and RM2,000 for the lanterns.

The money will be used for the temple’s upkeep.

In Butterworth, 15,000 red silk lanterns are giving the 3.5km-long Jalan Raja Uda a cheery Lunar New Year atmosphere.

The lanterns were switched on by Lim on Tuesday in front of the Bagan DAP service centre located in the street.

The lantern fairyland was a joint effort of the state government, local businessman Datuk Chin Poh Chye and some of his friends, to brigh- ten up Jalan Raja Uda to mark Chinese New Year.

Chin said there were more lanterns this year, compared to the 10,000 put up last year.

“The cost for the decorations this year was RM250,000.

“Since this could be the longest lantern-deco-rated stretch in the country, we are considering entering it in the Malaysia Book of Records,” he said.

Also present at the simple lantern lighting ceremony were state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, Bagan Dalam assemblymen A. Thanasekharan and businessman Datuk Hong Yeam Wah.

Meanwhile in Nibong Tebal, more than 200 lanterns put up along Jalan Atas were also switched on.

Jawi assemblyman Soon Lip Chee said it was the first time lanterns were put up in Nibong Tebal for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

He said PLB Engineering Berhad had sponsored 60% of the RM20,000 cost incurred in putting up the lanterns.

“We hope the company will sponsor the lanterns again next year with a bigger sum and make this an annual affair,” said Soon after a simple ceremony to switch on the lanterns on Tuesday.

“I hope the lanterns in Jalan Atas will improve business along the road.”

The ceremony also featured dragon and lion dances and culminated with a three-minute fireworks display.

Also present was PLB Engineering Berhad executive director Vincent Ong Seng Chye.

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