Some call it Deepavali. For others it’s simply Diwali. The Festival of Lights is around the corner and to mark the occasion, hotels and shopping malls around the country have turned their lobbies and atriums into a riot of colours.
At the Queensbay Mall in Bayan Lepas, Penang, a giant peacock stands regally in the main atrium, bathed in colourful lights.
As part of the celebration, the mall recently threw a party for 30 children from Rumah Kebajikan Seri Cahaya. It also presented the children’s home with a cheque for RM3,000 and some goodies to the youngsters.
Visitors to the Straits Quay Retail Marina in Tanjong Tokong will be greeted by a giant kolam as they walk through the main entrance.
The mall recently held a Junior Kolam Making Competition that attracted about 60 children aged six to 12. Winners received cash prizes and trophies.
At the Gurney Paragon Mall, there is no mistaking the scent of a celebration on the horizon. Shoppers will be greeted by the fragrance of various spices thanks to the “Aroma Diwali” decoration.
Visitors also get to see traditional performances on Nov 3, 4 and 6. The shows start at 3pm. St Jo’s also held a “colours of spices” colouring contest on Nov 3.
At the Gurney Plaza, visitors can join a majestic peacock to watch traditional dance performances at its lobby.
The Light Hotel Penang in Seberang Jaya has hundreds of earthen lamps on a 10-tier “Agal Velakku” to cast a glow on the kolam in the lobby.
At the G Hotel all personnel, led by general manager Michael Hanratty, are dressed in traditional Indian costumes such as the colourful jippa, saree and vasti. They also greet guests with “Happy Deepavali” wishes.
At the Sunway Hotel Georgetown, general manager Prakash Kumaran led the management and staff in a ceremony to light the Deepavali decorations. A similar ceremony was held at the Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya.
The housekeeping and marcom (marketing and communication) staff at the Royale Chulan Penang spent four days to complete a Deepavali kolam, showing off their artistic side at the same time.
Their artwork, located at the atrium, is the biggest ever for the hotel, says general manager Philip Theseira. It will be on display through the Deepavali week.
Another hotel that has spared no expenses for a beautifully crafted kolam is the Gurney Resort Hotel & Residency. The masterpiece greets guests as they enter the lobby. New general manager S. Navintheran has promised that he and his team will be on hand to ensure their guests have a comfortable stay.
The iconic Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel in Penang is another hotel that has combined the kolam with traditional earthen lamps in its Deepavali decorations. The 4.7m by 4.7m kolam of floral pattern, located at its Heritage Wing, was created with 60kg of broken rice that has been coloured in-house first.
At the Impiana KLCC Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, a giant kolam takes centre-stage at its lobby, while in Alor Star, the Star City has opted for a vibrant festive deco.
Deepavali is celebrated on Nov 6 this year.