Thousands of visitors including foreign tourists thronged the open space in front of Central Market in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night 26th September 2009 to celebrate the inaugural KL Lantern Festival 2009 in the true spirit of 1 Malaysia where the festival was celebrated together by people of different races and faiths.
The spectacular stunts with spirited display of acrobatic skills, striking stunts and physical stamina performed by troupe members of the lion and dragon dance kept the crowd mesmerized amid loud cheers from the crowd of thousands.
The theme of the festival was “1 Malaysia”, in line with the aim of the festival to foster unity among all races. The 1 Malaysia concept is promoted by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to inculcate the spirit of oneness from all the different races in multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual Malaysia.
The KL Lantern Festival 2009 was held to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival or Zhong Qui Jie in Mandarin which falls on October 3, 2009 and celebrated by the Chinese community on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month (October 3, 2009) to commemorate an uprising that established the Ming Dynasty. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also sometimes known as the "Lantern Festival" or “Mooncake Festival” in Malaysia.
The large-scale festival was organized by the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Action Council (KLTAC) with the cooperation of Kuala Lumpur City Hall and 100 Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and promoted as one of the country’s tourism products.
With lion and dragon dance, lantern procession, cultural performances, free distribution of mooncakes, fireworks display and attended by special guests the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the event was a success to foster community ties by living harmoniously and celebrating festivals together.
Enjoy the photo gallery!
Beautifully coloured and magnificently acrobatic lions greeted invited guests and dignitaries to the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
There were eight lions (number 8 being an auspicious number for the Chinese) in two groups of four facing each other at opposite side performing various actions for the visitors.
A little lion dancer performing among his older peers.
The little lion dancer.
A colourful dragon dance performance at the KL Lantern Festival 2009 in front of Central Market.
The pearl bearer leads the dragon during the dance. The pearl symbolizes wisdom in which the dragon follows.
The dragon smoothly snakes and slithers during the dance.
The dragon twirls and twists around.
The well-coordinated movements that never fail to enthrall the crowd.
The dragon moves in a wave-like pattern.
More acrobatic moves from the dragon dance performed at another spot near the car park area of Central Market in Kuala Lumpur.
A corkscrew-like rotating trick performed by the dragon dance troupe members.
Dragon dance manoeuvres involved co-ordination among the troupe members to swirl and turn the dragon.
The dragon winds around its own body in a spiral position.
Thousand of visitors including the under-privileged groups attended the KL Lantern Festival 2009 held at the open space outside Central Market in Kual Lumpur.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen (left) greeting Jenny Lee, 54, who joined in the fun at the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk M. Saravanan (right) arrived for the launch of the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen (fourth from left) and other dignitaries waiting for the arrival of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tub Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to launch the inaugural KL Lantern Festival 2009.
The arrival of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tub Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was greeted with loud cheers by the large crowd.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (seating third from right), his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (on Najib's left), Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen (on Najib's right), Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk M. Saravan (first from right) and other dignitaries watched cultural shows performance on stage which featured Chinese, Malay and Indian performances, too.
A wushu presentation using fists by these women exponents.
A Malaysian dance performed by the multi-ethnic groups in the country.
The crowd was amazed by the acrobatic lion dance performance.
Acrobatic stunts performed by the lion dance troupe members on top of high metal poles.
Execution of gravity-defying feats.
A colourful dragon dance performance in front of the stage kept the crowd mesmerized.
A dragon dance troupe member stood on the shoulders of another troupe member to increase the height of the dragon’s movements.
A spectacular performance by the dragon dance troupe.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen said in her speech that Tourism Malaysia would promote the KL Lantern Festival and hoped it would attract more tourists to the country specially for this event.
Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his speech said that the inaugural 1 Malaysia Lantern Festival will be made an annual event and promoted as one of the country's tourism products.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was presented with a pewter gift ....
... and a caricature of him and the 1 Malaysia logo.
Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak cut a giant mooncake in the shape of the 1 Malaysia logo which weighed 80 kg.
Taste good: Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tasting a cut-out piece of the mooncake.
The dragon dance troupe members performing near the Hong Leong Bank Building in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.
Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen (in green) holding lanterns at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock in front Kota Raya shopping complex during the lantern procession.
Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak waving to the crowd at Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown during the lantern procession.
Malaysians of all races come and celebrate the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
Bakhtiar (1st from right) with his sister and parents got together to celebrate the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
The lanterns are enjoyed by all races. Suresh and his girl friend joined people of all races and walks of life to celebrate a Chinese festival.
Foreign visitors also join in the celebration for fun.
Foreign visitors holding colourful lighted lanterns enjoying themselve at the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
Fair maidens in traditional costumes distributed free sweets to everyone present.
Dancers dressed in traditional costumes at the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
Dancers in traditional costumes of the different races in Malaysia.
(From L to R): Dancers in the traditional costumes of a Sarawak tribe, a Malay and an Indian.
A promoter at the M-150 energy drink booth. Free cans of the Thailand-made M-150 product for visitors at the KL Lantern Festival 2009.
Two lady personnel from Rescue 991 on duty at the KL Lantern Festival 2009. Rescue 991 is an emergency rescue team that's detached under the Malaysia Civil Defence Force (Pertahanan Awam Malaysia).
RELA personnel on duty at the KL Lantern Festival 2009.