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PHOTO ESSAY/Chinese community celebrates Jade Emperor's birthday in Kuala Lumpur

02/18/2024 09:09 PM
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Worshippers light incense sticks to pray to the Jade Emperor on Saturday night at 10 o'clock, an auspicious hour. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
Worshippers light incense sticks to pray to the Jade Emperor on Saturday night at 10 o'clock, an auspicious hour. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024

Kuala Lumpur, Feb. 18 (CNA) The Chinese community in Malaysia celebrates the Jade Emperor's birthday on the ninth day of the Lunar New Year, which falls on Sunday this year.

In Jalan Alor of Kuala Lumpur, a large-scale worshiping ceremony began on Saturday night.

The ceremony was held by the Bukit Bintang Hawkers and Petty Traders Association and attracted more than a thousand worshipers as well as tourists, according to local media.

In addition to praying and burning incense sticks, tables of offerings including pineapples, roast pork, sugar canes, and huat kuih (prosperity cakes) were displayed.

Deities and dancing dragons also sent their blessings to shops and worshipers.

A man dressed as the God of Wealth sends blessings to worshippers. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
A man dressed as the God of Wealth sends blessings to worshippers. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
Dragons dance along the street to send blessings to onlookers. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
Dragons dance along the street to send blessings to onlookers. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024

See Foo Hoong (薛富豐), chairperson of the traders association, said the ritual was originally just observed by the Hokkien-Chinese community. As time went on, Chinese of different descent also joined in the celebrations.

The Jade Emperor is the head of all the gods in the Hokkien tradition, and many Chinese-Malaysians consider the New Year unfinished if the deity's birthday is not celebrated, See said.

Worshipers pray for the emperor's blessings and a healthy and prosperous year, See said.

CNA video

See also said the Jalan Alor celebrations have become a local cultural event, with many Malays and Indians also joining in the rituals.

(By Huang Tzu-chiang and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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A worshipper sets the Jade Emperor's throne and consecrates it. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
A worshipper sets the Jade Emperor's throne and consecrates it. CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
Tables of offerings including roast pork, oranges, pineapples and huat kuih (prosperity cakes). CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
Tables of offerings including roast pork, oranges, pineapples and huat kuih (prosperity cakes). CNA photo Feb. 18, 2024
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