This year 2023 we decided to visit Penang to see the Miao Hui festival (Temple gathering) on 28 Jan and the Hokkein New year celebrated on 29 Jan 2023, the eve of the 9th day of CNY at Chew Jetty, UNESCO area.
Miao Hui is celebrated annually in Penang UNESCO area during Chinese New Year.
This year, 23 clan houses set up stages outside their clan houses to promote their dialects and cultures.
We saw Cantonese opera being sung outside the Cantonese clan temple/ association.
We saw very active participation by the Hokkein and Hakka clan association.
What’s amazing is that these clan associations are right inside Little India and nearby the historic Kapitan Kling and Acheh mosques.
This trip reminds me of the special roles played by temples in ancient China. They provide the space for the community to assemble, to hawk wares and to worship.
Susan Naquin in her excellent book Peking examined Temples and City Life 1400 to 1900.