Sunday, April 12, 2009
In our early post about Malaysia we had mentioned we were fortunate enough to be in Penang soon after the Chinese Lunar New Year. For those of you unaware Lunar New Year is the most important time for the Chinese Buddhist Community. It is a time to clear away everything from the past year and transition into the new year on a positive and festive note. Celebrations go on for weeks and we were fortunate enough to witness several celebrations during our time in Malaysia. Red Lanterns were hung throughout the cities. The color red to said to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, therefor most Chinese businesses and streets were decorated in red fabric and lanterns. One evening we while checking out the fireworks from our hotel balcony we were able to witness the two businesses across the street having a reunion dinner celebration complete with a traditional food offering tableFamily and friends made a huge bonfire right in the street to burn symbolic paper money for the new year.We felt so lucky to be in Penang during all of it. We soon found that it was just the tip of the ice burg.