Sunday, 19 October 2014

【Penang Event】The 6th Malaysia Twa Peh Kong Festival | Floats Parade

第六届马来西亚大伯公节
7th International Fu De Cultural Festival

Click for Chinese Version

Twa Peh Kong is a common deity among the Chinese folks. His duty is similar to Datuk Kong, which is a guardian for a certain area. Malaysia has it's first Twa Peh Kong festival on 2009 and the festivals were all held at East Malaysia previously. This year, for the very first time, Twa Peh Kong festival was held at West Malaysia, specifically Penang state. This festival was not only the 6th Malaysia Twa Peh Kong Festival but it was also the 7th International Fu De Cultral Festival as well.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

This three days long Twa Peh Kong Festival was hosted by Poh Hock Seah and was held on 13th to 15th September. The highlighted event would be the floats parade on 14th September that was started at 7 PM. As free as ever, I went to see the parade. I reached Armenian Street at 6 PM and the whole area were crowded by people already. Hawkers also seize the opportunity to open their stall at there. I saw this Twa Peh Kong statue in the middle of the crowd. At first I thought that he was the Poh Hock Seah Twa Peh Kong statue, but I was informed by the committee at there that this Twa Peh Kong statue actually came from Butterworth.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Since there was still one hour until the parade, I walked around nearby. I saw someone performing the Chingay not far away and so I sat down beside them and enjoyed the performance. I have always wanted to try to perform Chingay as I am curious how heavy the big flag is. Though the Chingay might seem easy to perform (as the principle is just like the "erect the stick on your palm" game we played during our childhood), but I do believe that it takes a long time to master it.


About 6.30 PM, the chairman (I supposed so) gave his speech on the big screen in front of Poh Hock Seah, followed by CM Lim Guan Eng's speech. Every time I attended CM Lim's speech, I will always heard these two phrases, "We must live with dignity" and "When there is sky, there is earth; when there is earth, there is a country; when there is a country; there is a home; when there is a home, there are you; when there are you, there is me (direct translate from Mandarin)". I can memorise it already..haha..

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

After listening to the welcoming speech by CM Lim, I squeezed into the crowd and went to Poh Hock Seah. When I reached the entrance of Poh Hock Seah, I saw a lot of people were going in and out from Poh Hock Seah.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

When I finally managed to squeeze myself into Poh Hock Seah, I was chase out by the committee. They were preparing to invite the deity out from the temple.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

I didn't saw which deity they were inviting out from the temple, but according to what was written on the God's Palanquin, the deity should be Nezha (Third Lotus Prince).

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

It was ten minutes before 7 PM and all the parade teams were already in position. The parade was led by the Chingay team and followed by this Twa Peh Kong mascot and four Big Head Buddhas.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

And the lead wasn't complete without the school band.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

When I was in my primary school, I used to admire my friends who were joining the school band. I really love their uniform and they looked so cool with their musical instrument!

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

CM Lim and the VIPs were on the next team. Does CM Lim looked like a boss to you?

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Following CM Lim's back, the floats that were waiting at Chulia Street started to move.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

The total distance of this floats parade is about 12 KM. The route taken was Armenian Street (Poh Hock Seah), Pitt Street, Farquhar Street, Northam Road, Penang Road, Burmah Road, Anson Road, MacAlister Road, Penang Road, Prangin Road, McNair Street, Magazine Road, Brick Kiln Road, Bridge Street, Noordin Street Ghaut, Jelutong Expressway, Weld Quay, Light Street, Pitt Street, Armenian Street (Poh Hock Seah).

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

There were more than fifty teams participated in this parade. Most of the teams were from Penang.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Out of so many floats, I have met with this one God's Palanquin (happy). For me, I preferred to see palanquin parade more than floats parade. There are more rituals involve in the palanquin parade and the palanquin interact more with the temples along the way. Another reason I like palanquin parade is because there are God's medium along with the parade.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

This is a team from Kuching, Sarawak. Beside the teams from all over Malaysia, it is said that there were about twenty teams came from other country, namely China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Brunei.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

During the parade, the thing that worth the praise was the effort done by the disciples. I saw them trying their best to make sure their job was done well. Most importantly, it was their teamwork that was truly amazed me.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

I found out that not every floats were carrying Twa Peh Kong, some floats were carrying other deities. I saw one float was carrying Guan Yu.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

This float of Acheen Street Twa Peh Kong was carrying two real human deity cosplay. One was cosplying Goddess of Mercy and the other one was cosplaying Twa Peh Kong.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Goddess of Mercy was busying distributing the candy. XD

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

And yes, there were a lot of amazing decorations seen on the floats. Some fill their floats with dozen of lights, some spilled water, some emitted smoke, some make the floats gigantic, some opened trending song and so on. I didn't snapped all of the floats as my camera memory was insufficient.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

The end part of the parade was stationed by the Twa Pe Kong from other places, internationally.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

According to the committee, this float was carrying more than eighty Twa Peh Kong statue.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

The last float of the parade was the Twa Peh Kong form Poh Hock Seah. Usually, the host will always be the last one in a parade.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

The night was fun and lively with the supportive people. Some came to see the magnificent floats and some came to get the blessing from Twa Peh Kong. On the way, I saw some people were setting up the chair at the roadside and enjoying themselves with the parade.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Soon I reached the "octopus" bridge as I followed the parade. At first I planned to take some photos on the bridge, but the bridge was crowded with people (as expected), leaving me no spot to do shooting.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

In the end, I cant managed to squeeze myself to the middle of the bridge so I simply find a spot at the staircase to do my shooting. The above photo was taken at Penang Road.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

There was a small incident happened while a float was trying to pass through the bridge. The float as too high to make it to the other side of the bridge.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

At last, they forcefully let the float to pass through the bridge and broke the light bulb on top of the float. Actually it was kinda dangerous to do so as the bulb's fragments might hurt the people around it.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Though the Twa Peh Kong festival is a Chinese tradition, yet other races came to join in the fun as well. I saw these foreign workers watching the parade on the balcony at Burmah Road. Along the way, I also saw many foreign worker were enjoying the night next to the window when I passed through the flats area.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Accidentally heard the public said that this was the most beautiful float among all so I took a photo of it. By the way, the dragon will release smoke from it's mouth from time to time.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

These kids were really doing all their best on shouting "Heng Ah! Ong Ah! Huat Ah!" all the way. They have earned themselves lots of applause from the crowd (actually it was them that asked the crowd to clap for them..haha~).

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Following the parade, I came to the jetty at 10:30 PM. At that time I was hesitating whether or not to just take the bus and go back home as I was worried that I might missed the last bus (the last bus should be at 11 PM). I saw the opposite lane was jammed with cars so I was thinking that the bus might not be able to move as well. So, I have decided to go to Poh Hock Seah to have a look what was going on there.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

When I reached Poh Hock Seah, I saw some people were busying with their on stuff while others were relaxing waiting for the parade to finish. According to the committee, once the parade has ended, all the Twa Peh Kong statue will be placed at the majestic altar in front of Poh Hock Seah.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

Soon, the parade reached it's end point. I saw someone carried a deity statue walking towards Poh Hock Seah. At first I thought it was the Twa Peh Kong statue, but when I looked closer I just realised that it was actually Qing Shui Zu Shi statue.

第六届马来西亚大伯公节

At last, the first Twa Peh Kong has reached Poh Hock Seah. The Twa Pek Kong Pay his respect to the altar and then was placed on the altar. Though I wished to wait for the other Twa Peh Kong to come back, but the time does not allowed. It was already 11 PM at that time so I rushed my way to the jetty to take the bus. After joining the parade, I felt like I was taken back to my previous job, which I chase after the deity's footstep regardless day and night.

This post was originally written on 19th September 2014

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