Highlight of The 25th Anniversary of Than Hsiang Welfare Association Celebrations – Guan Yin Float Procession.

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Story by Hong Yew Chai / photos by H.S.Seow

The finale of the 25th anniversary of Than Hsiang Welfare Association celebrations was the 6-kilometer Guan Yin float procession that was successfully launched in the evening of 31/7/10.
Dignitaries who participated in the procession included Ven. Wei Wu, the abbot of Than Hsiang Temple; Ven. Kai Ling, the representative of Malaysia Buddhist Association; Ven. Zhen Ru, the superintendent of Than Hsiang Temple; Ven Zhen Xin, the supervisor of SP Than Hsiang Ching Yuan; and other Sangha members. VIPs invited to the launching ceremony for the float procession comprised of YB. Wong Han Wei, YB. Sim Tze Tzin, YB. Yeoh Soon Heng and Upasaka Teoh Hoe Guan, the main sponsor of the float procession.

In his welcoming address, Ven. Wei Wu stressed the importance of emulating the spirit of Guan Yin Bodhisattva in the cultivation of great compassion and wisdom, while commemorating the anniversary celebrations with the float procession.

The Venerable expressed his gratitude for the unstinting and generous public support given to Than Hsiang Temple for the past 25 years to carry out its activities ranging from welfare, education to spiritual cultivation. He hoped that the temple will continue to gain the continuous support to propagate activities conducive for the cultivation of compassion and wisdom as the noble path to end the sufferings of sentient beings.

All VIPs sounded the gong to signify the start of the float procession.

The Guan Yin float procession organised in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Than Hsiang Welfare Association is a historical event as it is the first float procession ever held in the South East District of Penang Island. Buddhist organisations and schools participating in the float procession and parade include Phor Tay Ex-pupil Association, SRJK (C) Phor Tay , SMJK Phor Tay, Phor Tay Private High School, Beow Heong Lim Temple, Buddhist Free School Ex-pupil Association, SMJK Chung Hwa (Confucian), Triple Wisdom, Jiu Hua Temple and the various units of Than Hsiang Temple comprising of Than Hsiang flag bearers, TH Youth group, Sunday Dharma School, Metta Welfare Association, TH Kindy, Wan Chin Yuan, SP Ching Yuan, BM Than Hsiang, Klang Valley Mitra Welfare Center, Kalyana Mitra Center Pajam, Thailand Klintiendharm Foundation and devotees.

The procession contingent stretched for about 1 km while the entire route was approximately 6.2 km long. It was heartening to see so many spectators and devotees patiently lining along the route to witness the spectacular view of the first ever Guan Yin float procession on this part of the island. Devotees were seen placing their palms together and some with flowers and LED lamps in their hands praying for peace and good health as the brightly-lit floats passed by.

The procession ended at about 9.15pm and the participants and devotees went home filled with Dharmic joy.

The Guan Yin float
The Guan Yin float