Doumugong Temple & Nine Emperor God Festival
Visiting Doumugong Temple in Macallum Street Ghaut, Penang, Malaysia
We encourage you to visit our DouMuGong temple during the Nine Emperor God Festival to experience and observe the unique practices and prayers of the Taoist worshippers and followers. The festival starts on the eve of 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (roughly around September or October annually).
You will be amazed at the super human feats that the mediums undergo each night which includes dipping their hands into boiling hot oil, playing with iron balls which have been heated for 3 days and 3 nights and more. The oil that the mediums dip their hands in are bottled and sold as medicinal oil, able to soothe aches and pains. (You may buy this bottled medicinal oil at our temple.)
Please be respectful and if in doubt, ask the temple helpers if you would like to enter the higher floors of the temple (our temple consists of three floors). If you are accompanying the gods and their sedan chair procession which makes its rounds in George Town, you will need to wear a white t-shirt and white pants and have at least observed vegetarianism.
Specific events are held each night for the duration of the festival. Arrive at 8pm each night to witness some of the activities and events which involves the temple mediums.
If you are a tourist and unable to speak the local Chinese dialects (Mandarin or Hokkien), it is best you come with someone who can translate for you. It will be one of the most interesting cultural experiences of your life!
Temple Location & Map
Our temple is located at 1,Lintang Macallum 2, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Check the Google Map here for our specific location.
Why Is The Nine Emperor God Festival Celebrated?
The Nine Emperor God Festival or “Kow Wong Yeh” (in Cantonese) or “Kew Ong Yah” (in Hokkien) is closely tied to the Dou Mu Gong temples across Malaysia especially where Taoist Chinese reside.
The Nine Emperor Gods Festival celebrates the return from heaven to earth of the Nine Emperor spirits, who are worshipped as one deity known as Mazu, the Taoist goddess of the sea and queen of heaven who represents health, wealth and prosperity.
The Nine Emperor God Festival is a series of prayers and events held over 9 days and is celebrated by Taoists on the eve of 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar.
This celebration is famously celebrated in Malaysia (specifically Penang), Singapore and Thailand.
Strict vegetarianism is a must.
Many Taoists who wish to offer prayers to the Nine Emperor Gods become vegetarians for all of 9 days. Some adhere to a one-day vegetarian diet if they decide to visit and pray at the temple. The upper floors of the temple are only to be visited if you have adhered to a vegetarian diet.
Some Taoists undergo more purification practices by using a completely new set of toothbrushes, cutlery and crockery during this nine-day period. They do not consume milk, butter or any dairy products. Some do not even use leather wallets or purses (as this involves the killing of an animal to produce the hide for these products).
It is also well-known that the weather becomes unusually rainy especially towards the end of the 9 days.
More About The Nine Emperor God Festival
Experiencing the Nine Emperor God Festival in Penang – a blog post
History of Nine Emperor God Festival – from Wikipedia
The legend of the Nine Emperor Gods – from a temple in Ipoh, Malaysia
History of the Doumugong Temple or Rumah Berhala Tow Boo Kong in Butterworth
The rocking chairs of the gods – how this festival is celebrated in Singapore