IPOH: Devotees to this year’s Nine Emperor Gods Festival celebration at the Tow Boo Keong Temple here will be welcomed by colourful 3-D dragons breathing out steam.
Perched on the four pillars and ceiling of the temple foyer, the dragons – made of cement and river sand – are a realistic portrayal of the famous river spirit in Chinese folklore and the first of its kind among Chinese temples in Malaysia.
At night, the dragons “come alive” with the vibrant LED lights decked from their head to tail.
Temple committee deputy chairman Ng Him Fook said it decided to launch these dragons – known as the Auspicious Dragons of the Five Camps – to make this year’s celebration of the festival grander and more meaningful.
“It took our craftsmen a year to finish constructing the seven sculptures after studying how to make realistic dragons in Beijing.
“The five dragons at the foyer are the highlight, but the two inside are for the devotees to admire,” he said during the launching ceremony at the temple in Jalan Tokong here yesterday.
Ng said the committee’s vision for the project, which cost around RM150,000, was to focus on the characteristics and details of each dragon.
“The steam makes it look as if the dragons are alive and that the temple is well guarded from evil. And at the same time, it blesses our devotees with peace and prosperity,” he said.
Ng said the temple also hoped to attract more devotees, especially from among the younger generation, with the dragons.
“We are looking for more creative ways to celebrate age-old traditions and festivals so that the young can come and join us,” he said.
The temple, he added, had plans to add more dragons next year, eventually having 20 of them.
“Hopefully, this will also boost the temple’s fame and image, and attract larger crowds,” he said, adding that the finale of the festival would be held on Oct 27 at 7pm.
The temple will hold its largest parade this year, with some 120 teams ready to display their floats.
The festival, which falls annually on the first day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, is dedicated to the nine sons of Dou Mu, the Goddess of the North Star who is said to control the books of life and death.
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