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Nine Emperor Gods Festival
08.10.2010 - 16.10.2010 08.00 h - 22.00 h
George Town, Penang - George Town
events 2010


Venue: Penang Island

Venue in Butterworth: Rumah Berhala Tow Boo Kong, Lot 894 & 896 MK 14, Jalan Raja Uda, 12300 Butterworth

Organizer: Tow Boo Kong Association
Tel: 04-3318717

Date: 8th to 16th Oct 2010


The Nine Emperor Gods Festival falls on the 9th Month of the Chinese Lunar Month and is held for nine days.  This year, the festival begins from 8th - 16th October 2010 to which the tradition during this period, the spirits of the Nine Gods descend upon the earth by possessing the spirit mediums and putting them in a trance.

On the eve before this festival begins, temples which house these Nine Gods can be found conducting a ceremony to bring the Gods to life.
Processions are held from temples to the sea-shore or river, with devotees dressed in traditional white, carrying incense and candles - awaiting the arrival of all nine Gods.

Throughout this nine-day festival, many rituals such as the skewering of a 9m spear between the mouth on the fifth day and the fire walking ceremony on the seventh day are carried out. On the last day of the festival; the ninth day; the Gods are sent off through a procession leading to the sea or river on an "Emperor Boat" accompanied by many other colourful floats.

For nine-days during this festival, devotees stay at the temple to eat vegetarian meals and recite continous chanting of prayer. This festival is held on the mainland and also on the Penang island.

Schedule for events in Butterworth:







Sunday October 18, 2009
The Star Online

GEORGE TOWN: Several streets here were turned into fairgrounds as makeshift vegetarian stalls decorated with yellow flags and bunting sprouted up for the annual Nine Emperor Gods festival which starts today.

The festival begins on the first day of the ninth Lunar month and during this period, Chinese Taoists will observe a strict vegetarian diet for nine days.

As some devotees observe a vegetarian diet a day earlier to cleanse themselves, many set up stalls to “cash in”, selling an array of vegetarian dishes or prayer items for the festival, popularly known as Kew Ong Yeah among locals.

Stall operator Lee Eng Kok, 48, said he imported ingredients for vegetarian bak kut teh, such as vegetarian pork ribs and kidneys, from Kota Kinabalu for the festival.

“The bak kut teh is priced at RM8.80 per set,” said Lee at his stall in Madras Lane.

During the festival, devotees also gather at the various Kew Ong Yeah temples to burn joss sticks and offer prayers for continued health and prosperity.

The festival is dedicated to the nine sons of Tou Mu, Goddess of the North Star, who is said to control the books of life and death.

Her sons, deified as jen huang (human sovereigns), are said to have the ability to cure sickness and bestow luck, wealth and longevity.

The festival will end on Oct 26 with processions to several beachfronts on the island where the deities are ceremoniously sent off to sea.


George Town, Penang
George Town, Penang