This article was written by Deborah Tobin.
The Year of the Monkey is almost here and what better place to soak up the atmosphere – and avoid the heat and the rain – than by taking part in that classic Malaysian pastime: going to the mall.
It’s time to dive headlong into the festivities: meet up with friends, eat, take pictures of the decorations, take pictures of your friends by the decorations, watch a lion dance, take pictures of the lion dance, eat some more – but only after taking a picture of the food – and soak up the holiday atmosphere! We’ve found the best places for this in 2016:
1. Suria KLCC
The theme at Suria KLCC this year is Celebration of Abundant Prosperity and the mall’s management is crowing on social media about its giant Chinese lantern replica, saying: “It’s official: our lantern is the tallest outdoor Chinese lantern with a steel structure, as certified by the Malaysia book of records.”
Inside the mall, the luscious decorations are inspired by the Tang Dynasty Imperial Palace. KLCC is running a program of performances until 13 February; the highlight is the LED Dragon Dance, at KLCC Esplanade on 6 February at 7.30pm. See the Suria KLCC website for more details.
Pavilion Mall is presenting the Feast of Longevity. Standing on a mountain of gold and fortune is the 30-foot-tall Auspicious Monkey. Toss a coin on to the mountain and you will be bestowed with good luck and fortune throughout the year.
The schedule of performances includes lion dances and the highlight is the Orang-Orang Drum Theatre on Saturday 8 February at 3pm and Sunday 9 February at 6pm. The Pavilion website has further info.
At the Mid Valley Megamall, this year’s celebration theme is Fortune Breeds Fortune. Look for the giant goldfish swimming above your head while you’re catching the Twelve Seasons Drum Performance or a Lion Dance in a giant fishbowl. The design includes flowers and lanterns in a variety of vibrant colours.
The celebration runs until 16 February 2016 and has various musical performances daily plus an Ang Pow Packets redemption promotion. Mid-Valley’s website has more info.
4. The Curve
Stars of the Orient – An Acrobatic Spectacle is a must-see performance until February 9 at The Curve. The acrobatic troupe comes from Shanghai and performs in an ethereal fantasy garden setting.
The Curve is also offering Oriental Arts and Crafts workshops and the magical Master of Masks face changing performance. See The Curve’s website for more details.
This PJ mall is celebrating A Time to Flourish with a busy program of performances including flourishing blossoms with Craft Haven on the 6th of February.
Invite some luck into your life by watching a lion dance performed by one of three different dance troupes, including The Khuan Loke Dragon & Lion Dance Association, one of KL’s most famous groups, who will be performing on the 8th and 9th of February. Check out the 1Utama Facebook page for further information.
The team at Publika are ushering in the lunar new year with a line-up of face changing, lion dances and drumming.
Be sure to catch the Chinese Yoyo performance Diablo on 6 and 20 February, and the Chinese Wayang Kulit street theatre on 20 February. See Publika’s Facebook Page for more.
7. The Gardens
You won’t see any monkeys at The Gardens, but you will see beautifully simplistic Chinese design.
This year’s theme, The Fabric of Time, features ornate fabric birds nestled among flowers and trees. It’s a tranquil setting for the Chinese Instruments Ensemble who will be performing on a number of occasions from 6-9 February. The Gardens mall website has more details.
The Map of the Monkey
Here’s a handy summary of everything in one neat little map. Happy Year of the Monkey! Gong xi gong xi!