Sunday, 9 March 2014

【Penang Event】The Grand Celebration Of The Jade Emperor's Birthday | Chew Jetty

姓周桥拜天公庆典
Jade Emperor's Birthday Celebration

The 9th day of the Chinese New Year is the Jade Emperor (Lord of the Heaven)'s birthday. For Hokkien people, Jade Emperor's birthday is more important than the Chinese New Year. Every year in Penang, which majority of it's residents are Hokkien, a grand celebration will be held at Chew Jetty to celebrate the Jade Emperor's birthday.

I was there for the last year celebration too, but sadly I have to go back earlier as the latest time for the bus service is 11pm. however, this year I was luckier as my housemate (she has a car) wants to witness the grand celebration. And thus, the transport problem was solved..hehe.. When we reached Georgetown, we separated with each other. She was accompanied by her friend and I was alone. I went to Chew Jetty after having my dinner. It was about 8pm when I reached there. I saw the long offering table has been setup in front of Chew Jetty but there wasn't any offering items yet.

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At the front of the long offering table is the Jade Emperor's altar. The altar at this time was still empty.

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Rows of the dragon joss sticks were set in front of the jetty. These dragon joss sticks were offered by the disciples. The red paper on the dragon joss sticks were written the name of the disciple who offered it.

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This is the main stage set in front of Chew Jetty. The show haven't started yet when I reached there, only the two screens at both side keep on playing the trailer of 'Ice Kacang Puppy Love' and 'The Journey'.

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There is a board written with 'The World of Chew Jetty' in Chinese and a God of Prosperity at the entrance of Chew Jetty for the tourists to take photos with.

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I went inside the jetty for a walk. There were few tourists at this moment and I can still walk freely.

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I met with this family when I walked around on the jetty. They set up a table in front of their house and put the offerings items on the table. I am guessing that these offerings items will then be taken out and put on the long offering table in front of Chew Jetty.

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This is the 'Chao Yuan Gong' temple in front of Chew Jetty. It's main god is 'Bao Sheng Da Di' which bless his disciples for good health.

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An offering table was set in front of the temple to worship the Jade Emperor.

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These are the offering items for the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor's offering items are more or less the same for all the other worshipers.

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There are two sugar cane in front of the offering table. This is an obvious sign of worshiping the Jade Emperor. I asked the granny who was sitting in front of the temple as why is it there must be canes when it comes to worship the Jade Emperor? She told me that long ago, there was a group of people trying to escape from a disaster and they hide themselves inside the cane field. They hide in the cane field for nine day and finally they managed to escape from the disaster. When they came out from the cane field on the ninth day, they worship the sky with canes as to thank the god for saving their lives. Since then, this practice has passed down from generation to generation until today.

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I asked the granny what is this boat resembles of? She told me that she also don't know. She said that when she came last year there seems to be no boat but in my memory, last year there was a boat as well.

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The deity on the table is the Jade Emperor.

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At 9pm, the performances at the main stage started. The first performance was a singing performance by a band of four people.

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When I was watching the show, suddenly the sound of drums and gongs came over from the long offering table. And so, I quickly head over to the offering table to see what was happening. When I reached there, I saw two disciples were holding a phoenix pen (directly translation) and conducting the other disciples.

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The other disciples were listening to the two disciples who carried the phoenix pen (which it resembles the God) and adjusted the Jade Emperor's altar to the best place.

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Earlier on, the emcee of the main stage said that this Jade Emperor's altar was bought with the money from the Chew Jetty residents. This Jade Emperor's altar from China costs them RM30000.

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After the adjustment work, the disciples pay their respect to the other deities nearby.

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And then the disciples went inside the temple to consult the Jade Emperor for further instruction. It is not a good idea for me to further stay inside so I went out to see what was happening outside.

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When I passed through the long offering table, I saw the disciples were bringing the offering items of their own and put them on the offering table.

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Roast pig seems to be a must offering item for most worshiping ritual. I heard that one roast pig can cost up to RM800!

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Soon, I heard the drums and gongs sound again. And then, two disciples were carrying the Jade Emperor towards it's altar.

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Then the disciples placed the Jade Emperor in it's altar.

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After settle down with the Jade Emperor, the disciples started igniting the Seven Star Lamp (direct translation) in front of the Jade Emperor's altar.

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After igniting the Seven Star Lamp, the ritual takes a pause. I went back to the main stage to see the performance but too bad that this time I cant made my way to the front. The emcee said that this little violin player is an international player who has always followed the government to perform on the international stage.

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After the violin performance was the performance from the Spring dancing group. The were wearing the Baba and Nyoya costumes while dancing.

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And then it is the magic time form the Malaysia famous magician, Jefferado Jeffrey.

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After the magic show was the dancing performance again. Then it was the singing performance. I wasn't interested with the singing performance so I went to other place.

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I went into Chew Jetty. At that time, Chew Jetty was heavily flooded with the crowds. Under the command of the voluntary team, Chew Jetty became a two ways route. Walk in from the left and walked out from the right. Once I stepped into Chew Jetty, there was no turning back for me. I followed the flow of the crowd and round the jetty one round.

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I though that it will became easier to walk once I was out form the jetty, but who knows it became worse. I cant even take a single step forward and I was hard to breath too. After a while, I saw the cause of this over-crowded situation. It was all because of this great person.

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After the arrival of CM Lim, all I can shoot was the crowd.

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Finally, I managed to escape from the crowd and came to a place with less people. I saw my housemate and her friend at there. We chat for a little and waited for the midnight to come.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1... And here comes the fireworks from all over the place.

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This time I have became clever. I have already set the tripod from the start..hehe..

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Though I have set the tripod earlier, yet the fireworks came from random direction. This really tested my quick response. Lacking of experiences, I wasn't manage to shoot much nice fireworks photos.

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Does this firework looks like rambutan?

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This spiky one looks like durian?

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Hmm... I wonder what does this one looks like?

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I named this one 'All the Way to the Sky!'

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Let's called this one 'The Dancing Shooting Star'.

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The blooming star!

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Beside the fireworks, there were also the fire crackers all around. It really feels like time is reversing back to the Chinese New Year Eve.

We went back home right after watching the fireworks. On the way, we saw people were burning the joss paper at the roadside. Then I just though that we have actually miss the last ritual, which is to send back the Jade Emperor to the heaven by burning the Jade Emperor joss paper and it's paper made altar.



This post was originally written on 9th February 2014

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