Saturday, 25 September 2010

Moon-lit lantern magic

WITH the full moon in sight during a cool and breezy night, it was perfect for a stroll at the scenic Gurney Drive in Penang.

The setting was also ideal for the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration on Wednesday night.

Parents and their children were seen carrying various kind of lanterns.

There were the traditional plastic and paper lanterns with candles in them while some carried modern ones which had blinking LED lighting.

Organised by Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai’s service centre, the event attracted a large crowd who were treated to free food and captivating stage performances.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who graced the event, explained that the festival was a time for family activities whereby tucking in the famous mooncakes can be used as incentives for families to gather together.

“Penang is the place for good food and to have clean, safe and good fun,” he said.

Lim also stressed on the importance of working together to restore the shine back to Penang as the “Pearl of the Orient.”

“We must have integrity in what we do as well as efficiency and productivity. Based on these three qualities — efficiency, productivity and integrity — it will put us on the right track towards turning Penang into an international-status city and destination of choice for investors and tourists alike,” he added.

A fire brigade van worth RM32,000 was also presented to the Pulau Tikus Fire and Rescue volunteer unit.

The vehicle was sponsored by Gurney Drive Tua Pek Kong temple and Gurney Drive Phor Thor committee.

Entertainment for the night included a dragon dance, a lion dance, and a drum performance.

A two-round display of fireworks also decorated the night sky as the gazing crowd stood transfixed.

Song Chia Ying, 33, said she would always bring her two children to have fun at the lantern festival.

“My husband and I also took them to last year’s event at the Esplanade. The children loved picking out their own lanterns,” she said, adding that they usually opted for lanterns with cartoon characters.

However, it was the first time that four-year-old Lee Shun Hao was taking part in such a lantern celebration.

His father, Lee Poh Oon, 32, said his son was clearly having a good time.

Another family was busy taking photographs to capture memorable moments of the festival. Jimmy Yeoh, 39, Celine Neoh, 36, and their two-year-old son Owen went early to avoid getting stuck in the jam.

“We knew about the event and spent time in the Gurney Plaza (shopping mall) before coming here,” said Neoh.

Brent Horrocks, 32, from the United States was there because he was curious to know more about the festival.

The Star

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