Event in Penang promises to be a fun occasion for families

  • Nation
  • Friday, 13 Sep 2019

Perfect backdrop: Visitors taking photos with the lantern-filled archway in front of the City Hall in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: Though the moon is at its glorious best during the Mid-Autumn Festival, an exceptionally large one can be seen at the Esplanade in Penang this weekend.

But rather than casting your gaze to the sky, look to the centre of the field to find a giant, 10m-wide replica of Earth’s only natural satellite.

Paying tribute to the Moon Rabbit, it is one of the centrepieces of the Penang Celebrates: Mid-Autumn Festival 2019 event happening on Saturday (Sept 14) from 5pm onwards.

Organised by the Penang Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee (Petach) headed by chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, the event is open to the public.

Have your cameras ready, as there is also a giant archway with lanterns and blooms right in front of the City Hall. Cute bunny figures stand guard to welcome visitors.

Half a dozen 4.57m-high lanterns, bearing the letters Petach, also line the field. Together with some cultural performances, it promises to be a fun occasion for families.

“We are targeting a crowd of at least 20,000, and we hope parents can bring their children here to enjoy the festivities which are in line with the state’s initiative in promoting family-focused activities.

“It will definitely be one of the most perfect photo opportunity spots in town. Through this celebration, we hope to remind people about this widely known East Asian cultural symbol,” Yeoh said, referring to the Moon Rabbit folklore.

It is based on pareidolia interpretations of markings on the moon, which is said to resemble a rabbit standing over a mortar and pestle – supposedly pounding the elixir of life for its companion, the moon goddess Chang Er.

“We wanted to create an atmosphere where everyone can join in and celebrate both the Mid-Autumn Festival and Malaysia Day in advance,” Yeoh added during a lighting ceremony on Wednesday.

Also present were Penang Island City Council (MBPP) secretary Datuk Addnan Mohd Razali and Penang Global Tourism CEO Ooi Chok Yan.

The opening ceremony tonight will start around 6.30pm, with both Yeoh and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow set to attend.

There will be cultural dances, war-drums and wushu performances, as well as appearances by local artistes. It will end at 10pm with a fireworks display.

The giant moon, archway and lanterns will be lit up from around 8pm until midnight on Sunday.
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