Bukit Mertajam’s moon rabbits light up Mid-Autumn Fest

Crowd-puller: Lighting ceremony of a 5m-tall Rabbit in conjunction with the Mid-Autumn Festival at Pek Kong Temple in Bukit Mertajam. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Mid-Autumn Festival here got a notch brighter with the lighting up of two huge rabbits at the Xuan Tian Miao Temple.

They will be on display for public viewing until Oct 8 at the temple, which is also known as Pek Kong Cheng, in Jalan Pasar here.

One rabbit, measuring 5m, has been placed in a horizontal position while the other, which is 3m, is in an upright position.

Both are made of waterproof fabrics costing RM10,000.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also known as the Mooncake or Lantern Festival, will take place on Friday, which is the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar.

According to folklore, the moon rabbit, which is always portrayed with a mortar and pestle, pounds the elixir of life.

The lighting-up event was organised by the youth sections of five clan associations, which take turns to lead each year.

They comprise Persatuan Kwong-Waai Siew Seberang Prai, Persatuan Hainan Seberang Prai, Pertubuhan Hakka Seberang Prai, Hung Kung Association Bukit Mertajam, and Hokkien Hoay Kuan Province Wellesley.

This year, Kwong-Waai Siew led the event.

Organising chairman and Kwong-Waai Siew youth chief Ho Yew Kuan said the celebration, held at the Jit Sin Independent School in Jalan Che Bee Nor here on Sept 16, attracted more than 20,000 people.

Temple chairman Datuk Heng Teik Keong said the festival is an annual event for the temple.

He said the event is being organised in a grand manner to add buzz to the Bukit Mertajam old town.

“We will also renovate the old buildings which belong to the temple to protect our heritage. This is our duty,” he added.

He said the temple had donated generously to support four Jit Sin Schools, besides taking part in other charity activities.

“Annually the temple donates an average of between RM1.5mil and RM1.7mil,” he added.

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