GEORGE TOWN: After two years of muted affair, the Thnee Kong Seh’s (Jade Emperor) birthday celebration at Chew Jetty in George Town will resume this year.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebration was a grand feast with jaw-dropping lion dance performances as well as elaborate offerings to the Chinese king of heaven.
Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi said as the country is moving into the endemic phase, the celebration will take place on Jan 29.
“The last grand celebration was in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit us.
“After a discussion, the Chew Jetty Association and the state government have agreed to resume the celebration this year.
“We are expecting around 20,000 people during the celebration.
“The celebration will begin at 8pm on Jan 29 until midnight.
“There will be stage performances as well as the prayer ceremony to mark the celebration,” he said at the Chau Yuan Gong Temple in Chew Jetty, Weld Quay, Penang on Saturday (Jan 14).
Gooi added that this will be the first time the prayer ceremony will be held in front of the newly restored Chau Yuan Gong Temple.
“As most of the residents here are elderly, it would be easier for them to carry out the praying ceremony in front of the temple instead of on the mainroad.
“However, the stage performances will be held at Weld Quay on the main road,” he said.
To make the celebration a smooth and safe one, Gooi said the road in front of Chew Jetty will be closed from 12.30pm on Jan 29.
“This is to make way for residents to make preparations for the celebration at night.
“At 7pm, the intersection between Gat Lebuh Melayu to Gat Lebuh Chulia will be closed until midnight to ensure the safety of devotees as well as the visitors,” he said.
Chew Jetty Association chairman Chew Choon Seng said this will be the 116th Thnee Kong Seh’s birthday celebration at Chew Jetty.
“After two years of private celebrations, we are looking forward to the public joining us this time round.
“This also marks the sixth year the state government is supporting us to hold the celebration.
“The public is encouraged to join us by bringing their offerings during the celebration,” he said.
The celebration starts on the night of the eighth day of Chinese New Year.
The following day is deemed to be Jade Emperor’s birthday and is also regarded as the Hokkien New Year.
In the past, a 60m-long altar would be laid out on the mainroad along Weld Quay and thousands of people would fill it with food offerings.
This year, the altar will be brought into Chew Jetty in front of the Chau Yuan Gong Temple.