St. Anne’s Church

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Each year, on the month of July, an estimated 250,000 visitors from Malaysia and abroad flock to Penang’s mainland to pay tribute to a Christian matriarch who lived over 2,000 years ago in the middle east. This annual event, which is in honour of St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus Christ, is a nine-day prayer ritual held at old St. Anne’s Church at Jalan Kulim, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

For over a century, the St. Anne’s Feast Day has been a significant date in the Asian Christian calendar. Because of countless of prayers answered and petitions granted, the celebration also draws pilgrims of other religions. The result is an overwhelming multi-cultural congregation, united by a common devotion to the divine patroness who oversees family happiness. During this annual spiritual ritual, the atmosphere is similar to a carnival. Certain roads are closed over the weekend to accommodate the huge crowds.

Goods ranging from food to religious souvenirs, flowers, candles, costume jewellery and brassware are sold along the roads. However, the festivity is short-lived as the celebration climaxes on the fourth Saturday of July but not before a spectacular candlelight procession made up of priests, parishoners, pilgrims, spectators and volunteers is held in the evening.

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Posted by on July 24, 2011 under Religion.