Local Temple Celebrates 9 Emperor Gods Festival With The Biggest Incense In M'sian History
On the eve of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, many Chinese communities around Southeast Asia celebrate the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.
This year, a temple in Negeri Sembilan is holding a grand celebration for the festival after it was cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Si Thian Kong temple on Jalan Tampin, Kuala Pilah, has been welcoming everyone to its 4.8-hectare premises (about four football fields) since the beginning of the festival.
The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is a celebration that begins with the welcoming of the gods into the temple where they are to be worshipped for nine days, and ends when the gods are sent off on the ninth day.
Observers can choose to practise vegetarianism during the period, which falls between 25 September and 4 October this year.
After a two-year hiatus, Si Thian Kong erected three gigantic towers of incense to commemorate the festival.
According to China Press, the incense measures 79ft in height (or about 2.4m), the tallest in Malaysia.
The incense with dragon embellishments was displayed at the temple for more than a week and it was finally lit yesterday, 2 October.
Thousands of people held umbrellas in the rain to witness the historic moment
The ceremony to light the incense was initially slated to begin at 8.30pm, but it was delayed until 11pm due to the rain.
The Malaysia Book of Records was present during the ceremony and it handed the temple council a certificate in recognition of the biggest incense record in the country, reported Nan Yang Daily.
The incense cost RM330,000 to produce in a factory in Muar, Johor. It was fully paid for by a local entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Based on photos and videos on social media, thousands of visitors can be seen enjoying themselves at the temple
Other than burning joss sticks to pray and observing various Taoism practices, visitors can also scream into a horn by a lake that will cause a faucet to launch water into the sky depending on how loud the scream is.
There is also a firecracker show and a night parade where temple-like vehicles will drive into the premises through the Shanmen (also known as the Gate of Three Liberations).
There is a stage at the centre of the premises, creating a music festival vibe at the temple. It also features a beautiful water fountain and water stairs for visitors to take pictures with.