The Star Online
Tuesday September 2, 2008
By Ann Tan
IT was a sight of colours and crowd at the Lim Jetty Yin Yang temple in Weld Quay, Penang, when the Lim clan celebrated the Hungry Ghost Festival on a big scale recently.
An effigy of the King of Hades was designed to glow in the dark and the lights in the temple were turned off to create an eerie feeling of the nether world.
This is interesting:(From left)Hanna and Veronica taking a closer look at the 'beard' of a Teochew opera performer as Jordan looks on.
Cultural tour guide Ang Kean Huah said the committee decided to go against the norm as the King of Hades effigy would usually be shone with bright lights.
“The King of Hades comes from the ‘other world’ and we believe this should be the way we celebrate,” he said.
Some 2,000 devotees thronged the temple recently to celebrate the festival, and to pray for good luck and health.
Earlier, devotees were seen steadily streaming in to place joss sticks in the urn to pay homage to the deity guarding the roaming spirits throughout the seventh lunar month.
A Teochew opera troupe and a hand glove puppet show were engaged to perform at a makeshift stage. Lion dance, dragon dance and unicorn dance troupeswere also on hand to perform before the deity.
Smoke from joss sticks and flickering flames of candles, with sounds from the performing troupes added a festive feel to the atmosphere.
There were offerings such as roast pigs, ducks, chicken, ‘ang koo’ (red glutinous rice cakes), ‘mee koo’ (red-coloured buns), ‘huat kuih’ (prosperity cakes) and ‘mee sua’ (longevity noodles) placed on the altar.
Among those who joined in the celebration were Australians John Hanna, Veronica Greer and Jordan Greer who came for their yearly visit to their Taichi master Lim Lai Leong for lessons.
“We particularly chose the Hungry Ghost Festival period to come so that we can exchange views and compare notes on the martial art,” Veronica, 62, said.