Thean Hou Temple

18 February 2013

Chinese new year

I couldn't think of another better place in Kuala Lumpur to feel the heat of Chinese new year... maybe besides my house... than Thean Hou Temple. Thean Hou literally means Goddess or the Heavenly Mother.

It's our tradition to visit the temple on new year's eve right after our reunion dinner to be immediately overwhelmed by the colourful lights and cheerful festive ambience. Just look at the huge amount of red lanterns!

When I was younger the temple was even more bustling and crowded. There were Chinese opera, parade of characters of famous stories, gymnastic performance and famous singers would perform joyful melodies of the new year.

The last few years had been more quiet but still the whole ambience was mesmerizing. Lanterns are brightly lit everywhere and you'll see many families walking around together, obviously wearing new clothes. You know girl's instinct, especially the aunties slash ladies will put on their newest frocks and hair. That's a confident deduction from observation as most people will wear new year to begin the brand new year. People's faces are glowing with joy, some are praying to the goddess, hoping to have a better year ahead.

Chinese new year
Chinese new year
Chinese new year

Besides the usual red lanterns and new year decorations, its grand architectural features are also worth noticing. Many Chinese temples, especially the large ones, are built with beautiful traditional designs and the craftmanship is beyond amazing.  Every single pillar is decorated intricately with different patterns. Flowers are commonly seen, in this case lotus representing purity; and you'll see dragons of course, the most lucky mascot for Chinese, and crane (仙鹤)  representing longevity. 

I'm totally not an expert in this. In fact I didn't even notice before but there's recently a series on Sin Chew Daily introducing various architectural designs of Chinese temples and cultures. Guess I should start learning our own culture.

We Chinese do believe in a lot of lucky symbols and they are normally related to wealth, health, longevity, fortune, fate and... matrimony.

I was drawing lots (求签) to inquire my fortune for the year of snake.... And the result is pretty... demotivating. Hmm.


Chinese new year
Chinese new year
Chinese new year
 Chinese new year
Chinese new year

There's still a week to go before Chap Goh Meh arrives and visit the temple if you haven't. 

P/s: My friend Min Ji will arrive from Korea tomorrow and I'm very excited!!  >//<


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