Chap Goh Meh Celebration In Melaka & Wang Kang Festival


It was extremely hot, noisy and crowded but a Chap Goh Meh celebration and the Wang Kang (Royal Barge) Festival were not to be missed so I was there right in the thick of the procession. Well, I exaggerate a little. I was a bystander along Melaka’s Jonker Walk today and what a celebration it was with thousands of people congregating at various points in the historic city to witness the rare Wang Kang procession (today is but the 4th time the Wang Kang Festival has taken place in Melaka since the first recorded Wang Kang Festival in 1919, the last being in 2001.

The procession was 20km long (starting from the Yong Chuan Tian Temple in Jalan Parameswara) with the highlight being the wooden barge costing RM80,000 and measuring 5.8m in length, 2.4m in width and 6.1m in height. The atmosphere was festive and so colourful with lion dance troupes, participants in masks and even stilt walkers who handed out sweets to those watching.

According to this article in The New Straits Timesthe boat was loaded with rice, water, wine, joss paper, herbs, pots, pans, stoves, and  supplies for  the evil spirits which the boat collected along the route of the procession.


Devotees at the Yong Chuan Tian Temple passed offerings to be loaded on to the Royal Barge which would have been taken to the Pulau Melaka seafront this evening to be burnt to signify the banishment of the evil spirits.

I am so glad I was able to witness the Wang Kang celebration and witness firsthand how Chap Goh Meh is celebrated in a big way in Melaka. There were so many devotees at the many temples around the Jonker Walk/Jalan Parameswara area. Today was truly unforgettable and simply spectacular!