PENANG: The country's economy will be slightly above average during the second trimester (June to Sept) of the Year of the Rooster, according to the predictions of the Tua Pek Kong or God of Prosperity.
It was also predicted that the year would begin with an average first trimester (Feb to May) and end with an average final trimester (Oct to Jan 2006).
Thousands of people, mostly businessmen, converged at the seafront Hai Choo Soo (Sea Pearl) Temple in Tanjung Tokong here last night to witness the annual Chneah Hoay or flame-watching ceremony.
Last night's ceremony on the eve of Chap Goh Meh was the 115th Chneah Hoay at the temple.
It is believed that the deity could foretell the country's economy for the Chinese lunar year, through the flames from some 60 burning joss-sticks.
The prediction is based on the height and intensity of the flames, and the speed the embers in the deity's urn flares up.
The embers were fanned in three stages once each for four months of the lunar year.
The ceremony, which lasted about 15 minutes, began at 12.15am during the high tide when lights were switched off to enable the Poh Hock Seah Temple committee members to scrutinise the flames.