JENJAROM, Jan 12 (Sin Chew Daily) -- The annual lantern festival hosted by Dong Zen Temple during Chinese New Year offers blessings for all in the Year of the Ox.
Ven Jue Cheng, the Chief Abbess of Dong Zen Temple who is also the Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, said a 15-meter golden bull symbolizes hard work in the Year of the Ox.
A series of paintings by renowned artist Goh Ah Hong on ten bulls used in Zen tradition describing different stages in life are on display to inspire the visitors.
The supplementary theme of the lantern festival - a series of lanterns depicting flowers in four seasons are placed at the main entrance to greet the visitors.
A pair of mandarin ducks surrounded by four bodhisattvas signify well-guarded family harmony are seen at the fountain area of the temple.
Ven Jue Cheng said during the movement control order (MCO) implemented in March last year, the monks took the opportunity to plow on a 5-acre land where corn, peanut, brinjal, long bean, sweet potato, bitter guard, papaya and various greens were planted.
"We decide to open up the farmland for visitors.
"We have also invited artists to paint on those cow statues on display at the farm," she said.
For safety reasons, the lantern festival by Dong Zen Temple this year will be converted to a virtual event via virtual reality. Visitors can enjoy a virtual guided tour of the lantern festival.
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