PENANG: Two ancient bells from the Jade Emperor Pavilion left the Penang Hill temple yesterday for the Armenian Street heritage enclave where a grand Chinese New Year open house celebration will be held tomorrow.
This is the first time the bells, circa 1905, have left the pavilion at Fong San or Phoenix Mountain. It is also the first time in 98 years that the bells will be tolled.
Each of the alloy bell, which needed four men to carry, is engraved with the Jade Emperor Temple’s previous name, Teong Kheng Tien.
The open house celebration, from 5pm to 10pm, in conjunction with the Jade Emperor’s birthday, is jointly organised by the state, Penang Chinese All Clans Council and Clan Association Youth Committee Penang.
Members from the clan council committee, youth committee and trustees of the temple owner, Kong Hock Keong, turned up at the temple’s lower annex for a short prayer, blessing the bells removal yesterday.
“We decided that it is meaningful to lend the bells from the Jade Emperor Temple to celebrate the Jade Emperor’s birthday on Sunday,” said Kong Hock Keong's secretary Cheah Phee Guan.
Cheah said the bells were gifts to the temple from a monk and a female devotee, Cheah Saw Kooi in 1905.