Kek Lok Si Temple transforms into a fairyland every Chinese New Year. Some 20,000 traditional Chinese lanterns and thousands of modern neon and LED (light emitting diode) lights will be lit up at the temple which was built in 1891. As a symbol of peace, luck and prosperity, the lights will be turned on every night during the Chinese New Year festival.
The famous Kek Lok Si Temple is a centre for Chinese culture and the teachings of Buddha. It is also a heritage site for Mahayana Buddhism and traditional rituals.
Situated in Air Itam, Penang, Kek Lok Si was built in 1891, now stands as the largest and finest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. The history began with the arrival of Venerable Beow Lean in Penang in 1885 to seek donations for the renovation of a monastery in Foochow, China. Instead, he was appointed as the new resident priest of the temple by the trustees of the Goddess of Mercy Temple.
It is amazing to find millions of images of Buddha and hundreds of beautiful carvings, sculptures and murals in as well as outside of the temple halls, pagoda and archways. Two main attractions focus on the pagoda and a tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
The pagoda’s special architecture design of octagonal base incorporates Thai design and Burmese influence. It is seven-storey tall. On the other hand, the monumental statue of Kuan Yin is 120 ft tall.
On Chinese New Year, Kek Lok Si transforms into a fairyland of lights for 30 days. Some 20,000 traditional Chinese lanterns and thousands of LED lights will be lit up as a symbol of peace, luck and prosperity.