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Chingay is originated from China, and the Penang Chinese first performed Chingay in 1919 during deity processions. It is a street art where the performer balances a giant flag that ranges from 25 ft to 32 ft in height and about 60 pounds in weight.
Over the years, the local Chinese has been improvising the Chingay performance. From a basic giant flag balancing by a solo performer, Chingay has developed to a team performance that consists of more than 15 persons in a troupe. Today, Chingay is not only performed by the Chinese, but the art has successfully attracted the Malays and Indians. It has become a very unique multiracial performance. The popularity of CHINGAY in Penang in particular, has also made it one of the very interesting cultural landmarks as well as an important tourist attraction.
The Penang State Government would like to highlight this true art of Penang which has more than 100 years of history. The Penang Chingay performers have been challenging the complexity in Chingay performance. What we see today, is beyond the balancing of the giant flag, but a fusion of acrobatic and balancing stunts. It is now a form of acro-balance performance.
The Penang State Government would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the all Chingay performers, especially to the Penang Chingay Association, North Malaysia Chingay Association and Butterworth Chingay Association. They have continued this hundred-year-old art in this century. For decades, they have been pushing their limits to create more interesting stunts to spice up the Chingay performance. They have flourished the art, performed not only locally but internationally, and make it a national performance that all of us are proud of. They have revolutionized Chingay.
Thanks to them, we are proud to say that, Chingay has become our very own local art today.