Located at the coastal area of Tanjung Tokong, this Tua Pek Kong Temple is famous for its flame watching ritual (an event known as “Chneah Hoay” event) on the 14th night of Chinese New Year, which is also the eve of Tua Pek Kong’s Birthday. This event held annually, involves the observation of the flame of the temple’s ceremonial urn which will forecast the economic health of the year according to the local belief. This temple is also the origin of the name Tanjung Tokong and is believed to be the first temple built to worship the Tua Pek Kong, a Chinese Taoist deity in the country.
Recently, the temple area further underwent some renovations with a small outdoor park being built around a small hill behind the temple. The park features LED flowers and at night, it transforms into the Penang Avatar Secret Garden.
On the last weekend, September 13 to 15, George Town hosted the 6th Malaysia Tua Pek Kong festival which was organized by the Poh Hock Seah temple community. There was also a Tua Pek Kong Procession with over 50 decorated floats from China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Macau and from East Malaysia too, held on 14th September. A similar procession was also held some years back.
Tua Pek Kong or Twa Peh Kong was reportedly a man named Zhang Li from the Hakka clan. His Sumatra-bound boat was struck by wind and accidentally landed on Penang island of Malaysia, which at that time had only 50 inhabitants. After his death, the local people began worshipping him and built the Tua Pek Kong temple there.
The Cantonese Tua Pek Kong Temple located along King Street of George Town’s Heritage Zone is an old Taoist temple was built by the local Chinese communities during 18th century. Tua Pek Kong, literally “Grand Uncle”, is worshiped as the god of prosperity by the Chinese.
With a panoramic view of the Gelugor area below, this temple is located at one of the hills of Bukit Gambir.
The temple is built for the worship of Chinese deity, Tua Pek Kong, the Taoist god of prosperity.
A statue of Laughing Buddha at the temple compound.
The ‘Tua Pek Kong” grand float procession was held by the management of Poh Hock Seah in 2010, the last of such event was held back in 1998. The procession was held once every 12 years (during the Tiger year of the Chinese zodiac).
Tua Pek Kong is one of the pantheon of Malaysian Chinese Gods. It was believed that Tua Pek Kong arrived in Penang 40 years before Francis Light’s arrival.