Christmas Ever After @ Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Christmas is always a fun affair in Malaysia (albeit commercialised). While not as lavish as celebrations in Singapore, or as festive as the Philippines, most malls try to outdo each other with grand decorations and activities, such as Santa meet and greets, carolling sessions, and more.

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At the forefront is Pavilion KL, within the city’s Golden Triangle. As one of Kuala Lumpur’s most popular malls, Christmas deco is serious business – and they’ve come up with some impressive stuff over the years. In 2013, visitors got to experience ‘snowfall’ every night at the mall’s entrance, while last year they had a giant Swarovski tree. So what’s in store for 2016?

Well, for one, there’s a giant 70ft-tall Christmas tree at the entrance, right in front of the Crystal fountain. Great place for pictures! At night, the tree will be illuminated with LED lights and glittering ornaments. 🙂

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The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Christmas Ever After’, inspired by the magic of fairytales. For their launching ceremony, performers dressed up as princesses, elves and other enchanting characters to entertain the crowd.

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The centrepiece is the Fairytale Castle, its semi-transparent walls lit up with different coloured lights – surrounded by ornamented Christmas trees, gold pillars and red flowers.

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Next to the Castle is the Swarovski Crystallised Merry-Go-Round. The carousel is decorated with sparkling crystals on its floor as well as on the horses. Visitors can go on it for rides, with part of the proceeds going to charity. All in the spirit of giving and sharing, right? 🙂

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There will also be pop-up stores in the centre court selling all manner of Christmas-y items, from gifts to souvenirs and ornaments. Better get that Christmas shopping in ! 🙂

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The best place to see everything is from the Spanish steps, which has aptly been dubbed the Theatre of Dreams – thanks to the two large red curtains ala an actual theatre on each side. Throughout the month, visitors will be entertained by various shows such as Santa’s Magical Band, Santa’s Bagpipe Performance, Magnificent Dance Show, Santa Meet & Greet and Spectacular Holiday Performance.

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The little ones will enjoy the Fantasy Train, running from now until January 1 for RM10 per ride at the mall’s main entrance.

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Lighting up the Spritzer Christmas tree !

So if you’re ever in KL over Christmas, go check out the lovely deco at Pavi KL, as well as the surrounding cloisters in Bukit Bintang. A very Merry Christmas to you, dear reader. 🙂

More info and showtimes @ pavilion-kl.com.

*pictures not watermarked courtesy of MilkPR & Pavilion KL 

 

 

Kajang Arts Festival and Crafts Bazaar

The Kajang Municipal Council and the Selangor state government recently organised a three-day festival to promote arts and culture at the Kajang stadium, so I paid a visit for work and to check out what they had in store. The Kajang Arts festival and Crafts Bazaar was the first of its kind and there were about 20 booths in the area, as well as activities lined up throughout the day.

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When I got there it was a Friday afternoon, so the weather was really hot. A few buskers were giving a performance at the main stage while contestants took part in an anyaman tikar (mat weaving) competition behind them.

 

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Graffiti on display

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Some of the art booths with works for sale

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Kids trying out an old stone grinder used to make rice flour at the Hulu Langat history booth. Back then blenders didn’t exist yet, so Malaysian families- be they Malay, Chinese or Indian – used these heavy stone grinders instead. The resulting mix would then be cooked into kuih (traditional cakes) and other yummy goodies

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A collection of old photographs of the Kajang area. Kajang was one of the earliest tin mining and rubber settlements in Selangor, having been around since the 1700s. With the boom of development, many settlers came to the place, which can be seen from its rich colonial architecture and old buildings.

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Chinese calligraphy by former Kajang assemblyman, ‘Cikgu’ Lee Kim Sin. He also heads theHulu Langat Community Heritage Centre.

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Sketches by students from New Era College, Kajang – as part of the town’s cultural mapping project, which features beautiful artwork of old pre-war buildings in town.

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Two Keris club members dressed in traditional Busana (Malay clothing) at another booth that promoted Malay heritage and art.

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Selection of keris (Malay daggers), knives, parang (machete) and other decorative weapons.

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Children playing checkers. She looks like she’s concentrating intensely!:)

Overall the fair had some interesting things to see, even though I felt that they should have more booths because I was done walking around after half an hour. They should definitely organise these festivals regularly to promote arts and culture, which is slowly gaining an interest among the locals.

Travelogue 1#: Thean Hou Gong Temple KL

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Today is Chap Goh Mei aka Chinese Valentine’s Day, the last day of Chinese New Year. Traditionally, Chinese maidens threw oranges into the sea/rivers in hopes of getting a good husband.
…The above story is totally unrelated to the picture of angku tat my auntie made. Look at the shape of that thing! Weird.

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After lunch, we went to Thean Hou Temple in KL. They’re celebrating their 120th anniversary this year and the place was jam packed with people since it was Chap Goh Mei festival.

(Above) Statue of Guan Yin. Water spouts out from her little bottle.

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They also had lanterns on display depicting the 12 Chinese horoscope animals. Too bad it wasn’t night time.

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A 2-storey lantern with a cow sitting on top of it.

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With all the lantern decos, it would be beautiful to visit at night but it would be even more full of people at that time, so we went early.

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Give a donation and take joss sticks for praying from this counter/box. Its up to you to determine the amount to donate.

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Statue of Mazu, Goddess of the Sea.

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The roof of the temple with elaborate carvings of deities and the bodhisattva depicted in them.

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Wishing lights shaped like lotus flowers. Light them up and pray for your prayers to come true.

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“Kam” or gold money which signifies wealth and prosperity.

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After praying, devotees put the joss sticks in this huge urn.

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Lots of pretty wishing lights.

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Monks performing blessing rituals and tying holy strings, to protect it’s wearer.

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One of the deities, the Yellow Jambala.

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Cousin performing a bathing ritual for the deity, for good luck and good fortune.

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The calligraphy pen I got from praying to the Wen Chang Di Jun. Put it on the study table and it will help to achieve better results in your studies.
Supposedly.

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My cousin got this from the fortune telling booth. The line was super long, we had to wait like, half an hour to get one. In those TVB dramas, people usually shake the container with a lot of wooden sticks until one falls out. Nowadays it’s become more modern. You just thump the rotating device and one will jump out. LOL
So this was her fortune for the year.

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A lotus flower bud

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Magnificent temple architecture

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Shrine at the top of the temple. You can see almost the entire view of KL from up here.

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Intricate phoenix statue

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And the customary dragon statue.

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This angle is nice, coz it looks like the dragon is emerging into the sun.

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Over at the function hall some creative lanterns were on display, such as these twin dragons made from recycled soft drink cans!

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Another eco-friendly lantern, made from recyclable plastic bottles. So you get to have fun, AND save the environment at the same time.

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The outdoor stage area was already filling up around 5 pm, since people wanted to get good seats for the night’s performance. Cute guys in lion dance pants were seen walking around all over the place teehee

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Boiled herbal eggs and quail eggs

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Troupe of little boys with their big bad drums. Really talented kids!

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Animal zodiac signs in the outdoor area.

And that concludes our visit to the temple. Time to nom!

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We went to a vegetarian restaurant in PJ New Town. The house specialty here is charsiew. Of coz its not real char siew la. But it tasted delicious. ^^

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And my personal fave: buttered frog legs. (they’re not real frog legs, a reminder)
Trust me, I grew up in this area. It’s so nostalgic to be back here again and reminisce of all the places I used to hang out at. Mum used to take me here all the time when I was a kid and she was working with Popeye at the land surveying office(from 1994 – 2002, i was basically a local in this area)
The restaurant’s name is NEU vegetarian restaurant, located near the MALAYSIAN INSTITUTE OF BAKERY, just a few blocks away. It’s been around since foreva, so try asking around for the way coz i dunno the exact address. :p
That’s all. Toodles!