Floating Chariot Procession
Living in Penang, you come to realize every day is a holiday. Not in the sense that you can kick back and relax, in fact everyone I meet is on the move, working hard. No I mean every day is some kind of celebration or observance for someone living here. Right on the heels of Chinese New Year, which ends today with Chap Goh Meh, comes this weekend’s Floating Chariot Procession which will take place in Teluk Bahang.
From the Facebook event page
The Floating Chariot Procession in Teluk Bahang Sri Singamuga Kaliamman Temple starts earlier this year. This seaside festival, which had been attracting tens of thousands of devotees to the 115-year-old Sri Singamuga Kaliamman Temple in Teluk Bahang yearly, had become the second largest Hindu celebration in the state after Thaipusam.
Goddess Singgamuga Kaliamman will be carried on a floating chariot, decorated with lights and flowers along the seaside of Teluk Bahang in conjunction with the temple annual prayers.
This festival draws large number of devotees and tourists from other states and countries like Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
6.30am to 10.00am – Palkavadi will be taken from the beach to the temple
12.00 noon – Uchakal Pooja
1.00pm – Anathanam will be served
6.30pm – Float Chariot procession begins. Lord Sri Singamuga Kaliamman
will be taken on the “Theppam” Chariot Bot.
8.00pm – 9.30pm – Fireworks Display
– Devotees will release Lotus Light Float lanterns into the water
making and fulfilling their vows.
And from Malaysia.com
Known as Ammah, the goddess protects the villages and fishermen of Teluk Bahang and inspires thousands to journey every year to witness her fantastic voyage.
Countless lights, lanterns and torches from the vessel illuminate the surroundings and provide a spiritual glow to the festivities. Devotees either construct their own floating lanterns to accompany the goddess, or purchase them from makeshift stalls set up around the beach. The entire beach of Teluk Bahang adopts a carnivalesque mood, as the air is flooded with the sights and sounds of a Penang night market: food, trinkets and religious icons can all be purchased by the curious visitor.
Thousands of tiny lights given off by the homemade lanterns dot the rolling waves, while hymns are sung to accompany the goddess as she begins her voyage – Penang’s Chariot Procession is one of the few in the world in which the goddess’ chariot is actually carried out to sea by boat, rather than simply being set adrift on the waves. The crowd cheers as the goddess rides her chariot out to the horizon, ensuring peace and prosperity for the people of Teluk Bahang for another year.
We haven’t been to this particular celebration. Let us know if you go, and tell us what you think.