GEORGE TOWN, Feb 21 – The heritage enclave in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town, was a hive of activities on the second day of the Lunar New Year. Bright red banners adorned the entrance to the Penang Chinese Town Hall (PCTH) building, welcoming visitors to its Chinese New Year open house.
The stretch along the road, from the China Street junction to the Church Street junction, was crowded with onlookers enjoying cultural performances. The crowd clapped and cheered whenever performers from Penang Chingay Association tossed and caught long poles bearing state and PCTH flags in various positions.
Besides that, the onlookers also enjoyed lion dance performances and later took photographs with the lions while the drums were rolling in the background. Spotted among the crowd was tourist Kristy Healy, 30, from Australia. She said she heard about the open house from staff at the hotel where she was staying, so she decided to drop by.
“It is really an exciting event. I realise that people from various races are here to celebrate the festival, and I am enjoying myself watching all these performances. “Penang is an interesting state and I am going to spend my days here well before going back,” she said when met yesterday.
Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and his consort Toh Puan Majimor Shariff graced the ceremony, which was also attended by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his wife Betty Chew. More than 2,000 visitors feasted on delicious food at the ground floor of the hall during the open house.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, thousands of people from all walks of life thronged Lim’s Chinese New Year open house which was held at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition (SPICE) Centre in Relau. The crowd was greeted by Lim and Chew, and several assemblymen. Abdul Rahman and his consort also attended the open house. The visitors and guests enjoyed various performances such as cultural dances and magic show while enjoying their meal.