Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

WANGKANG 2012 ENDS WITH FIERY ENDING

Tuesday February 7, 2012

Wangkang sweeps away evil and people off their feet
By ALLISON LAI
[email protected]

MALACCA: Thousands gathered here to watch the Wangkang or Royal Barge procession that made its way through the streets in the city’s older quarter, symbolically sweeping away all evil forces that threaten to disrupt peace and prosperity.

More than 10,000 devotees and tourists witnessed the procession which began at 7.30am from the Yong Chuan Tian Temple in Banda Hilir in conjunction with Chap Goh Mei yesterday.

The procession, after a lapse of 11 years, saw mediums in a trance parading along decorated carriages while the deity Tee Hoo Ong Yah, the third among five “sworn brothers”, and other deities were carried in their respective sedan chairs.
Lighting up the night: The Wangkang being burnt, accompanied by fireworks, at the Pulau Melaka seafront Monday.

The RM80,000 wooden barge, measuring 5.8m in length, 2.4m in width and 6.1m in height passed through several streets before returning to the temple at about 4pm.

Scores of people also gathered along the roads to catch a glimpse of the barge, with some touching it to ward off bad luck.

The day-long procession caused traffic congestion in Banda Hilir as many holidaymakers also flocked to the tourist area.

In the evening, the barge was dragged from the temple towards the Pulau Melaka seafront and burnt after a prayer ceremony, signifying the sending away of evil spirits.

Yuliya Huang, 32, flew from Indonesia to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event.

“I heard of Wangkang from my Malaysian father, but I have not seen one. So I came here with my parents two days ago,” she said.

For Briton Matt Lewis Haskins, 43, from London, it was the first time he had come across a major event like this.

“The event was colourful and great. I am lucky to have witnessed it,” he said.

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

WANGKANG FESTIVAL 2012

Email    Print 02 February 2012 | last updated at 12:51am
Sending a boatload of evil spirits back to hell

By KELLY KOH LING MIN
MALACCA
[email protected] | 0 comments

Rare procession to rid Malacca of misfortune

A Wangkang organising committee member preparing the wooden boat that will be paraded around the streets of Malacca on Feb 6 to collect evil spirits and negative elements. Pic by Mohd Khairul Helmy
1 / 1
  IT is not an annual event like  Chinese New Year or  Chap Goh Mei, but the Wangkang Festival is nevertheless important in the Chinese  calendar, especially for the Hokkien community.

  Wangkang is a festival which is believed to have its beginnings 150 years ago and it comes around once in several decades. This is only the fifth time that it is held in Malacca in the form of a boat procession.

  The last three Wangkang festivals took place in 1919, 1933 and 2001, and there are no records on when the first was held in the country.

  The event is aimed at ridding evil spirits in the state and country. It may be a once in a lifetime experience  as it is only held when the medium at the temple gets the command from the heavens.

  The 2012 Wangkang organising committee chairman, Lai Poon Pen, 55, said instructions from the “Heaven God” stated that this year is an unfortunate year as Malacca would be struck by disasters.

  “It was last year when we got this important message, and I was chosen to  carry out the festival.”  

   It is also known as the King Barge Festival and it is a tradition of the Chinese Peranakan, whose ancestors migrated to Malacca from the Hokkien-speaking provinces of China during the colonial era.

   “The idea of having the Wangkang boat procession around  town is to collect evil spirits, wandering souls and other negative elements on the road, and send them away to bring in  health, peace and happiness  to the people of Malacca.

   “The festival starts with the rising of the koh teng, an oil lamp on a 12m bamboo pole,  to send a message to heaven  that an important event will be held soon.

   “As for the boat, we have different names for it each year. In 1919, it was called Lian An, meaning united peace while in 1933, the boat was named Ming An, which means people’s peace. It was Jia An in 2001, meaning Malacca peace, and this year, it is Chuan An which means total peace,” said Lai  at the Yong Chuan Tian Temple in Banda Hilir yesterday.

  He said  the 5.8m-long, 2.5m-wide and 2m-high boat was made of wood by five committee members.

  “The RM80,000 boat will be loaded with rice, water, wine, joss paper, herbs, pots, pans, stoves, and  supplies for the evil spirits  as we believe there should be an equilibrium between heaven, earth and hell.”

  Lai said the Tourism Ministry gave RM10,000 and the state government provided RM15,000 towards the cost of building the boat.

  The rest of the money was collected from the people.

  The Wangkang will be paraded in the streets here on Feb 6 —  the last day of  Chinese New Year which is also Chap Goh Mei —  before being  set ablaze in a bonfire.

Read more: Sending a boatload of evil spirits back to hell – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/sending-a-boatload-of-evil-spirits-back-to-hell-1.40726#ixzz1lDxA289x

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

LONG AWAITED MELAKA TRAM TO BEGIN OPERATIONS IN APRIL 2013

Meanwhile, the much-awaited Melaka Tram, the world’s first environmentally friendly tram that runs on a Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) engine, is expected to begin operations in April next year.

The RM272 million project linking Ayer Keroh and Banda Hilir, described as the most effective mode of transport to overcome the traffic woes in the Historical City, would take one year to complete once construction starts in April.

Ali said that details of the project were being displayed at three locations in the state and also at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) office in Menara Dayabumi, Kuala Lumpur.

“The public can give their feedback after studying the project details at the Melaka Mall and at Wisma Negeri, both in Ayer Keroh, and also at the Tourist Information Centre in Jalan Kota.

The Melaka Tram, a joint venture between Mrails International Sdn Bhd and Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), would have 23 stops along a 40km-route from Ayer Keroh to Banda Hilir, the heart of the historical city.

The tram is a rail borne vehicle, lighter than a train and differed from other forms of locomotion, as the tracks were embedded in the street.

It would be able to accommodate 120 passengers at any one time, cater to the disabled because of its ground-level design and would operate at a speed of 40kmh.

Ticket for the tram ride will be priced at RM2 for a single journey but students and senior citizens could ride for free. A day pass, priced at RM5, would also available.

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA TRAM ON TRACK

Email    Print 17 November 2011 | last updated at 01:06am
Tram project on track

0 comments

MALACCA The proposed RM272 million Melaka Tram project linking Ayer Keroh and Banda Hilir is the most effective mode of transportation to overcome the traffic woes here, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said yesterday.
  “We have already obtained the green light from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) for the project.

  “In October, the state had written to the Federal Government, through Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, for approval,” he said.

  “We are now awaiting the approval from the prime minister.

  “Once it is obtained, we will exhibit the letter together with  complete details of the project.

  “This is  to show the public that the project would bring great benefit to them.”

  The Melaka Tram project is  a joint venture between Mrails International Sdn Bhd and Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI).

  The service would have 23 stops along a 40km-route from Ayer Keroh to Banda Hilir, the heart of the historical city.

  It is estimated that 250,000 passengers would use the trams monthly.

  Annual revenue would be in the region of RM20 million.

  The tram would  go through Bukit Baru, Peringgit, Jalan Munsyi Abdullah, Bandar Hilir and Taman Melaka Raya.

  Ali Rustam was speaking to reporters when he was asked to comment on the unsuccessful bid by Betty Chew Gek Cheng (DAP-Kota Laksamana) to have the Melaka Tram project shelved through a motion she had tabled at the Malacca State Legislative Assembly.

  The motion was rejected by the house.

  Ali Rustam said the Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)  on the Melaka Tram had also been completed and the necessary approvals had been given.

  “Studies have also shown that the Melaka Tram would be used by  109,559 people from Monday to Friday.

  “The figure is expected to soar to 210,160 during the weekends,” he said.

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default