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George Town celebrates year of the Tiger

George Town celebrates
Tuesday February 23, 2010, The Star Publications...
By JEREMY TAN Photos by GOH GAIK LEE and K.E. OOI

A CHINESE cultural explosion which lit up the George Town heritage enclave drew around 100,000 visitors.

Greeted by a giant ornate archway at Cannon Street, visitors to the annual Penang Chinese New Year Cultural and Heritage Celebration were treated to chingay performances, lion and dragon dances and acrobatic displays as well as handicraft demonstrations.

They also had the chance to indulge in the hawker fare at the many stalls that lined the streets during the nine-hour celebration.

The activities were held on Acheen Street, Armenian Street, Cannon Street, Ah Quee Street, Soo Hong Lane, Chulia Street and Kampung Kolam on Saturday.

British tourists Chris and Linda Reilly, currently on a six-month sailing holiday around the region, found the celebrations interest-ing.

“We knew there was a festival for Chinese New Year, so we parked our boat at the marina and decided to head over to join in the fun,” Chris explained.

At the Khoo Kongsi, visitors were captivated by a Taiwanese puppet show. The puppets’ funny antics had adults and children laughing and clapping along.

At Ah Quee Street, the crowd flocked to the Lantern Riddles exhibition. Among them were couple Tan Boo Pin and Yeoh Yen Shing.

“It’s a good opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture. Each year features a different theme so one can always learn different things,” Tan said.

A carnival atmosphere permeated the Cheah Kongsi where visitors joined in the dancing during a classical cabaret show. The young ones also had fun trying their hand at silk screen printing while others peered at old photos of Penang at a photo exhibition.

In front of the Teochew Association, a 24 Season Drums troupe and a dragon dance entertained the crowd. Visitors also delighted in Teochew opera and choral performances. Further down the road, handicraft stalls showcased paper art and calligraphy.

Trying out her brush skills, customer service assistant Lee Sook Sin said she came to soak in the lively atmosphere. The God of Prosperity also made an appearance to hand out gold coins.

At the stroke of midnight, a 10-minute fireworks display capped off the festivities.

The Chinese New Year Cultural and Heritage Celebration was organised by the Clan Associations Youth Committee, the Penang Chinese Clan Council and the state government, and co-sponsored by E&O Hotel and DiGi.

Scorce: The Star, George Town celebrates 23-02-2010

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