The Thean Hou Temple atop Robson Heights, Kuala Lumpur celebrated the birthday of Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, on Saturday May 8, 2010 with devotees offering prayers at the temple, cultural dance performances, children colouring contest, exhibition and talks on Mazu and a colourful procession on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
The Mazu parade stretching 7.9 km started from the Pasarakyat bus terminal (at Jalan Melati off Jalan Imbi / Jalan Tun Razak) and through Jalan Sultan Ismail (in front of Sungei Wang Plaza), Jalan Bukit Bintang (Federal Hotel), Jalan Pudu, Jalan Tun Sambanthan (Brickfields) and back to the temple atop Robson Heights in Persiaran Endah, off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur.
The grand parade included a dragon and lion dance troupe, chingay performance, Chinese yo-yo group, musicians beating the drums, gongs and cymbals and devotees holding joss sticks and carrying the deity Mazu, the flags of Malaysia, the 13 states and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan and including flags bearing the 1Malaysia logo.
Also included for the first time, in the true spirit of muhibbah (goodwill), were cultural dance troupes from the different races in the country.
The Thean Hou Temple is owned and operated by The Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association Malaysia (雪隆海南会馆). Its office is also located at the temple.
The prayer hall houses three principal deities. As one enters the prayer hall, deity Thean Hou is in the centre. On the left is deity Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea (see pic below) and on the right is Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy.
The statue of deity Mazu the Goddess of the Sea at the prayer hall of Thean Hou Temple, KL.
The Mazu parade as seen along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur :
Devotees carrying flags bearing the 1Malaysia logo and the states of Malaysia and Federal Territories lead the procession.
The procession along Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur in front of the KL Monorail Bukit Bintang station.
Devotees holding a sacred statue of a deity.
Devotees carrying the sedan chair which rocks and jerks as it is believed to be possessed by the deity Mazu on her annual birthday visit to Earth.
Devotees carrying the sacred statue of deity Mazu the Goddess of the Sea.
The dragon dance troupe members wearing raincoats as it was drizzling.
The dragon dance captivates the crowd of tourists and visitors along Jalan Bukit Bintang. In the background is the KL Monorail Bukit Bintang station.
The dragon dance troupe at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang.
The Bhangra dancers in their bright colour costume.
The Chinese yo-yo group performing their routine.
Young devotees carrying baskets of fruits and flowers.
Devotees carrying long banners emblazoned with big Chinese characters. The Chinese characters on the right banner are "Jin Yu Nian Nian" that means abundant and bountiful year after year.
A devotee carrying a symbol of a fish to signify abundance and affluence.
The procession is accompanied by musicians loudly beating gongs and drums.
The Indian musicians playing their instruments.
Indian stick dance performers holding sticks in both their hands and striking them together on the beats of the musical instruments.
The chingay performers with their giant flag outside the KL Monorail Bukit Bintang station.
A chingay performer balancing a giant flag pole on his forehead outside the KL Monorail Bukit Bintang station.
A chingay performer balancing the giant flag pole on the chin.
The chingay performers walking in front of Federal Hotel in Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL.
A chingay performer balancing a giant flag pole on his back and walking in front of The Ship restaurant in Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL.
A sequence of photos showing a chingay performer tossing a giant flag pole using his right leg and landing it on the forehead of another performer.
The Mazu parade as seen along Jalan Tun Sambanthan (Brickfields), Kuala Lumpur :
The lion dance troupe making its way along Jalan Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur by which time the drizzle had stopped.
Devotees carrying the huge red sedan chair where it is believed to be possessd by the deity Mazu the Goddess of the Sea.
The procession passing in front of the KL Monorail Sentral station in Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kuala Lumpur.