Archive | February 2013

Where is Hokkien Kongsi, Penang?

Friends always ask me where is Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and I shall try to answer their frequently asked question in this article.

Hokkien Kongsi, Penang is located in Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple (commonly known as Tua Pek Kong Temple), which is situated at the corner of Lebuh Armenian and Lebuh Cannon in the Heritage Enclave of Georgetown.  As one faces the temple, Hokkien Kongsi, Penang is in the right room on the first floor.  Hokkien Kongsi, Penang is formed from the Big Five Hokkien Clan Surnames in Penang – Cheah, Khoo, Lim, Tan and Yeoh.  So these 5 kongsi’s send 4 representatives each to Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and they are the trustees managing 5 temples in Penang.  For more information on the 5 temples, please visit http://www.hokkienkongsipenang.com/

Hock Teik Cheng Sin is the umbrella body comprising 5 representatives each from Hokkien Kongsi, PenangTong Kheng Seah; Cheng Hoe Seah; and Poh Hock Seah.  The famous annual “Chia Hoay” Ceremony (Flame Watching Ceremony at Hai Choo Soo Temple in Tanjong Tokong Seafront ) is carried out by the members of Poh Hock Seah.  We just had this ceremony on the 14th day of the 1st lunar month, corresponding to 23rd February 2013 and the prediction on the economy of Penang is “medium” for the first 4 months, “good” for the next 4 months and also “good” for the last 4 months until the next Chinese New Year.

Entrance to Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple is at Lebuh Armenian, Penang

Entrance to Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple at Lebuh Armenian, Penang

Granite plaque telling you about Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, Penang

Granite plaque telling you about Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, Penang

Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, better known as Tua Pek Kong Temple

Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, better known as Tua Pek Kong Temple

Altar of Tua Pek Kong on the Ground Floor of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple

Altar of Tua Pek Kong on the Ground Floor of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple

Urn used in the "Chia Hoay" Ceremony on 23rd February.  Notice the flame was so good that even the red cloth was singed.

Urn used in the “Chia Hoay” Ceremony on 23rd February at Hai Choo Soo Temple at Tanjung Tokong Seafront. Notice the flame was so good that even the red cloth was singed.

First floor of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple as one comes up the staircase.

First floor of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple as one comes up the staircase.

Entrance to room of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang on the right.

Entrance to room of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang on the right.

Inside meeting room of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Inside meeting room of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Tong Kheng Seah - altar praying to Jee Tay Yah whose birthday is on 14th day of 2nd lunar month.

Tong Kheng Seah – altar praying to Jee Tay Yah whose birthday is on 14th day of 2nd lunar month.

Board giving details of Tong Kheng Seah

Board giving information on Tong Kheng Seah

Room on left - Cheng Hoe Seah praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong.  See article on  Flame Watching Ceremony at Snake Temple

Room on left – Cheng Hoe Seah praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong.

See related article on Flame Watching Ceremony on 14th February at Snake Temple, Penang at the following:-

http://penangtapestry.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/snake-temple-flame-watching-ceremony-by-cheng-hoe-seah-on-14th-february/

Board giving information on Cheng Hoe Seah

Board giving information on Cheng Hoe Seah

Exit of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple. Note the narrow staircase on the left of photo.

Exit of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple. Note the narrow staircase on the left of photo.

In the room upstairs, I found Chai Sin Yeah (God of Wealth), Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy)  and Tua Pek Kong (God of Prosperity) in a room upstairs.

In the room upstairs, I found Chai Sin Yah (God of Wealth), Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) and Tua Pek Kong (God of Prosperity).

Stepping out on the balcony, I took this photo of the first floor of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, showing room of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang.

Stepping out on the balcony, I took this photo of the first floor of Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, showing room of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang on the right.

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Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration on 16th February 2013

The All Clans Chinese New Year Celebration was held in the heritage enclave of Georgetown.  An arch was built in conjunction with this celebration and lanterns were put up giving it a very festive air.  As it is the Year of the Snake, Hokkien Kongsi, Penang set up their own stage to join in the celebration and asked the Snake Farm (based at the Snake Temple in Penang) to bring snakes and put on a snake show for tourists and visitors.

When I left, I could see that Goldie, the albino python was drawing a crowd to the stage.  Goldie is such a sweet and easy-going creature that I personally find her very adorable.  This is such a turnaround for me, as I used to have an aversion for snakes!

Hi come and  join us.  We are going to the Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration

“Hi, come and join us. We are going to the Chinese New Year Cultural & Heritage Celebration.”

Khoo Kee Chooi and Khoo Kay Hock, two Hokkien Kongsi, Penang's trustees making their way to their own Stage Area in Lebuh Ah Quee, outside Lim Kongsi

Khoo Kee Chooi and Khoo Kay Hock, two trustees from Hokkien Kongsi, Penang making their way to their own Stage Area in Lebuh Ah Quee, outside Lim Kongsi

Trustees from Hokkien Kongsi, Penang at their own Stage in Lebuh Ah Quee

Trustees from Hokkien Kongsi, Penang at their own Stage in Lebuh Ah Quee

Hokkien Kongsi, Penang showing their five temples.  For more information, please visithttp://www.hokkienkongsipenang.com/

Hokkien Kongsi, Penang showing their five kongsi’s. For more information, please visit
http://www.hokkienkongsipenang.com/

Lillian Chew from Snake Farm with her pet python, which looks like an accessory complementing her outfit!

Lillian Chew from Snake Farm with her pet python and a foreign visitor

Goldie, the albino python with trustees from Hokkien Kongsi, Penang.  Looks like they have adopted Goldie as their mascot.

Goldie, the albino python with trustees from Hokkien Kongsi, Penang. Looks like they have adopted Goldie as their mascot.

Lillian Chew with her tree snake.  I felt the skin of the tree snake and it is so smooth and velvety.

Lillian Chew with her tree snake. I felt the skin of the tree snake and it was so smooth and velvety.

Just the start of the Celebration and people are visiting the Stage Area of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang to see the snakes,

Just the start of the Celebration and people were already visiting the Stage Area of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang to see the snakes.

Going home via Lorong Soo Hong - such beautiful paintings on the wall.

Going home via Lorong Soo Hong – such beautiful paintings on the wall.

Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013

The Chief Minister of Penang, Mr.  Lim Guan Eng arrived promptly at 6.20 p.m. to officiate the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013.  He was greeted by the usual lion dance, and on hand to greet him were members of the Joint Organising Committee and Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang.

He was then taken up to pay homage to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong in the Snake Temple, before proceeding to the Indian Temple to pay his respects.  Then to the Main Stage Area for the official programme.

I got them to pose for a photo before the arrival of Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang

I got them to pose for a photo before the arrival of Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang

Lion Dance heralding the arrival of Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng

Lion Dance heralding the arrival of Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng

Here he comes, all smiles for the crowd.

Here he comes, all smiles for the crowd.

Being greeted upon arrival by Chairman of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang - Khoo Kay Hock

Being greeted upon arrival by Chairman of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang – Khoo Kay Hock

Greeting friends on the way to Snake Temple.

Greeting friends on the way to Snake Temple.

Saying Happy New Year to spectators waiting outside Snake Temple

Saying Happy New Year to spectators waiting outside Snake Temple

Turning back to say Gong Xi Fa Cai to the people below

Turning back to say Gong Xi Fa Cai to the people below

Paying homage to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong of Snake Temple

Paying homage to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong of Snake Temple

At Indian Temple

Inside Indian Temple

Y.A.B. waiting to be blessed by Indian priests

Y.A.B. waiting to be blessed by Indian priests

Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng being blessed by Indian priests

Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng being blessed by Indian priests

VIPs at Main Stage for Official Programme

VIPs and guests at Main Stage Area for Official Programme

Chio Tian Culture Drum Performance

Chio Tian Cultural Drum Performance

Organising Chairman, Cheah Cheng Ean giving a speech

Organising Chairman, Cheah Cheng Ean giving a speech

Tan Lye Hock, Celebration Chairman giving his speech

Tan Lye Hock, Celebration Chairman giving his speech

Crowd listening to speeches

Crowd listening to speeches

Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang giving his speech

Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang giving his speech

Y.A.B. Chief Minister saying Huat ah, Heng ah, Ong ah after his speech

Y.A.B. Chief Minister saying Huat ah, Heng ah, Ong ah after his speech (meaning prosperity, success and good luck)

VIPs and sponsors of this event being called on stage for .....

VIPs and sponsors of this event being called on stage for …..

Raining confetti to add to the festive occasion before departure of Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng

……..raining confetti on the crowd to add to the festive occasion before the departure of Y.A.B. Mr. Lim Guan Eng

Hokkien Kongsi, Penang says a big thank you to everybody who came to our Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013.  You helped to make it such a success.  We also  thank the Joint Organising Committee for their sterling work, dedication and commitment in organising this Joint State Event, which was no mean task.  Thank you to all sponsors too for your generous sponsorship.

Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong’s Birthday – 15th February 2013

Hokkien Kongsi, Penang held their usual prayer ceremony at 10.00 a.m. at Snake Temple to pay homage to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong on his birthday.  Seven priests said prayers at the altar of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong, followed by prayers at Kuan Yin Pavillion, then Tua Peh Kong, Thni Kong and finally at Chor Soo Kong’s altar again.

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong on his birthday

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong on his birthday

Chief Monk blessing all the Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Chief Monk blessing all the Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong

Praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong

Offering prayers to Goddess of Mercy at Kuan Yin Pavillion

Offering prayers to Goddess of Mercy at Kuan Yin Pavillion

Pr aying to Kuan Yin

Praying to Kuan Yin

Altar of Goddess of Mercy

Altar of Goddess of Mercy

At the altar of God of Prosperity (Tua Peh Kong)

At the altar of God of Prosperity (Tua Peh Kong)

Hokkien Kongsi, Penang's Trustees Cheah Phee Guan, Dato' Lim Eng Soon and Cheah Hock Cheok praying to Tua Peh Kong

Hokkien Kongsi, Penang’s Trustees Cheah Phee Guan, Dato’ Lim Eng Soon and Cheah Hock Cheok praying to Tua Peh Kong

Praying to God of Heaven (Thni Kong)

Praying to God of Heaven (Thni Kong)

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and their wives praying to God of Heaven (Thni Kong)

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and their wives praying to God of Heaven (Thni Kong)

Back at the altar of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong again for the end of the Prayer Ceremony

Back at the altar of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong again for the end of the Prayer Ceremony

Coins which have been blessed will be distributed to all Trustees and their wives

Coins which have been blessed will be distributed to all Trustees and their wives

Chinese Opera Show staged in honour of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong on his birthday

Chinese Opera Show staged in honour of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong on his birthday

Flame Watching Ceremony at Snake Temple, Penang on 14th February 2013

At the beginning of the evening, prayers were offered to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong  at the Main Altar in Snake Temple by the Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang.

The Guest of Honour for the evening’s “Chia Hoay” Ceremony  was Mr Teng Chang Yeow, and he was greeted on arrival by a Lion Dance.  First, a speech was given by the Chairman of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang to welcome guests and also to thank all the sponsors of the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013.  He also thanked the Joint Organising Committee for their hard work in arranging this Festival.

Mr. Teng Chang Yeow then gave his speech and dotted the eyes of our Festival Snake 2013 to start the Ban Ka Lan Festival 2013.

Praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong by Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Praying to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong by Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Offering prayers to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong

Offering prayers to Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong

Lion Dance to greet the arrival of Mr. Teng Chang Yeow

Lion Dance to greet the arrival of Mr. Teng Chang Yeow and guests.

Mr. Teng Chang Yeow (in red) and Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Mr. Teng Chang Yeow (in red) and Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and their wives

Speech by Khoo Kay Hock, Chairman of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Speech by Khoo Kay Hock, Chairman of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang

Speech by Mr. Teng Chang Yeow

Speech by Mr. Teng Chang Yeow

Dotting the eyes of the Festival Snake 2013 by Mr. Teng Chang Yeow

Dotting the eyes of the Festival Snake 2013 by Mr. Teng Chang Yeow

Lighting of the Ban Ka Lan Festival Flame by Mr. Teng Chang Yeow

Lighting of the Ban Ka Lan Festival Flame by Mr. Teng Chang Yeow

Festival Snake 2013 coming out to greet the guests

Festival Snake 2013 coming out to greet the guests

Festival Snake 2013 joined the VIPs in wishing all guests Gong Xi Fa Cai

Festival Snake 2013 joined the VIPs in wishing all guests Gong Xi Fa Cai

Festival Snake 2013 going back to Snake Temple

Festival Snake 2013 going back to Snake Temple after saying hello to all guests

Cultural Dance Performance

Cultural Dance Performance

Wishing all guests prosperity, success and longevity

“Hock, Lok, Siew” – Wishing all guests prosperity, success and longevity

Throwing oranges to all guests to wish them luck.

Throwing oranges to all guests to wish them luck.

I have been to the Snake Temple before on the eve of Cheng Chooi Chor Soo Kong’s Birthday and I have never seen so many people coming to see the “Chia Hoay” Ceremony.  You can now read about the “Chia Hoay” Ceremony by Cheng Hoe Seah at http://penangtapestry.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/snake-temple-flame-watching-ceremony-by-cheng-hoe-seah-on-14th-february/

Ban Ka Lan Snake Temple Festival, Penang, Malaysia.5

Ban Ka Lan Snake Temple Festival, Penang, Malaysia – A Joint Event by Penang State Tourism, Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and Snake Temple Resident Area Committee

Date:  Friday, 15th February 2013

Time:  5.00 p.m. to 12 midnight

Venue:  Whole stretch of road in front of Snake Temple, Jalan Tokong Ular, Penang

A press conference was called at 10.00 a.m. today (Friday 8th February) by Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang at Snake Temple, Penang to give more details about the programme for the Snake Festival 2013 and also to answer questions from press members.

There was a surprise visit by the Snake Queen, Aza and Chew Hoo Peng of the Snake Farm, Penang and they both walked in with a Cobra.  We were all treated to an exhibition of expert handling of the cobra by Chew and kissing of the cobra by the Snake Queen, Aza.  Aza will be in an enclosure from 5.00 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.on 15th February with a variety of snakes and when she takes a rest, her partner will take over.  Chew will be performing Snake Shows on that day too.  What a treat in store for visitors to the Snake Festival.

Press Conference chaired by Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang

Press Conference chaired by Y.B. Danny Law Heng Kiang

Chew asking the cobra to say hello to the Snake Queen, Aza.

Chew asking the cobra to say hello to the Snake Queen, Aza.

After the preliminary greeting, it was followed by a kiss from the Snake Queen, Aza

After the preliminary greeting, it was followed by a kiss from the Snake Queen, Aza. Wow!

PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.  A BITE FROM A COBRA IS FATAL IF NOT TREATED WITHIN 45 MINUTES.  JUST KISS YOUR OWN HUMAN PARTNERS AND LEAVE THE KISSING OF COBRAS TO THE PROFESSIONALS.  Pearls of wisdom for 2013.

This is our Snake Festival 2013.

This is our Festival Snake 2013.

One for the album - Y.B Danny Law is holding a python

One for the album – Y.B Danny Law is holding a python

So do come to our Ban Ka Lan Festival 2013 on Friday, 15th February at 5.00 p.m. to 12 midnight.  Who knows – you might be treated to our Chief Minister, Y.A.B. Tuan Lim Guan Eng and Y.B. Danny Law giving their speeches with pythons draped around their necks.  We will just have to wait and see.

For more information on the programe for the 15th February, please visit

https://ritalim937.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/ban-ka-lan-snake-temple-festival-penang-malaysia-4/

Switching-on Lights Ceremony at Snake Temple, Penang

In conjunction with the Ban Ka Lan Snake Festival 2013, Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik came at 8.30 p.m. on Monday, 4th February 2013 to officiate the Switching-on Lights Ceremony at Snake Temple, Penang.  He was greeted on arrival by a Lion Dance.  He gave a speech and then switched on the lights to welcome the Year of the Snake which will start on Sunday, 10th February (corresponding to the 1st day of the 1st lunar month of the Chinese calendar).  From now on until the 24th February, the lights at Snake Temple will be switched on daily at 7.00 p.m.

We ended the evening’s event with the usual firecrackers to signify the advent of Chinese New Year.

The newly-built arch for the Snake Festival 2013, before the Switching-on Lights Ceremony

The newly-built arch for the Snake Festival 2013, before the Switching-on Lights Ceremony

View from Front Porch of Snake Temple

View from Front Porch of Snake Temple

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and friends waiting for the arrival of Y.B. Dato' Abdul Malik

Trustees of Hokkien Kongsi, Penang and friends waiting for the arrival of Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik

Arrival of Y.B. Dato' Abdul Malik to the fanfare of the usual Lion Dance

Arrival of Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik to the fanfare of the usual Lion Dance

Y.B. Dato' Abdul Malik giving a speech

Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Malik giving a speech

Switching-on Lights Ceremony to welcome the Year of the Snake

Switching-on Lights Ceremony to welcome the Year of the Snake

Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi Nin

Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi Nin

Letting off firecrackers to signify the advent of Chinese New Year.

Letting off firecrackers to signify the advent of Chinese New Year.

We wish all Chinese and Malaysians a Happy New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai.

We wish all Chinese and Malaysians a Happy New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai.