St Anne’s Festival
Amongst the many festivals in Penang, a special
place goes to the devoutly celebrated St Anne's Festival.
Penang possesses few religious buildings more famous that St
Anne's Church in Bukit Mertajam, which lays claim to a history
stretching back to the 19th
St Anne's Church is renowned as one of the region's most exquisite landmarks, with amazing intricate architecture. Initially a chapel, the church site was established by French priests in 1846; the main church building was opened in 1888. This original church is now referred to as St Anne's Shrine, named in honour of St Anne, the grandmother of Jesus Christ and mother of the Virgin Mary. Two newer churches were also constructed on the site in later years.
Catholic Festival 29th July
Tourists will be enthralled by the captivating festival, celebrated each year on July 29th which provides a genuine taste of the local beliefs and culture. Catholic devotees arrive from all parts of Penang to participate in St Anne's Festival. This is a principally religious event honouring the area's patron saint but it is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by the local populace.
Candlelit church parade
The event involves a prayer ritual which lasts for nine days, after which the Catholic faithful congregate at the historic church. After an evening of worship and prayer participants take part in a late nigh, candelit procession in the grounds of the church. This parade takes on a mesmeric quality with the backdrop of the shimmering white church and dark night sky.