Chaiya Mangalaram is a Thai buddhist temple, built in 1845, on a land granted by the East India Company on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Victoria to the Siamese community. The land was presented by the then Governor of the Straits Settlement, William John Butterworth, to four female Siamese trustees. Since then, the land has remained in trust to this present day.
“Kew Ong Yah” or the Nine Emperor Gods festival is widely celebrated in Penang among the Chinese. This is an important Taoist tradition that lasted nine days starting from the eve of the 9th lunar calendar month, which fell on the 8th of October this year.
Kek Lok Si Temple is identified as the largest and finest Buddhist temple site in Malaysia, situated on a hill slope in the vibrant township of Air Itam. It is a historical significant site dating from 1880s. Construction began soon after with its first temple hall completed in 1891. Until today, construction is still continuing to enhance the visitor’s experience to the temple site.
Penang Chinese culture is strongly influenced by the Confucian, Buddhism and Taoism tradition. Dating back as early as the 18th century, Penang Chinese ancestors were descendants from Southern China, mostly from the Fujian Province, bringing with them the tradition, culture and philosophy of their homeland.
One of the oldest Chinese traditions that is still widely practiced in Penang and at home with my mother is called the “Ancestors’ Day” or the “Tomb Sweeping Day”. In Penang, the coloquial word for “Ancestors’ Day” is known as “Cheng Beng” in hokkien or “Qing Ming” in Chinese mandarin.