Decoration of the CNY pagoda outside the M’sian mall compared to the bid for the Qing Ming festival – Mothership.SG

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Nailing down festive decorations can be tricky, especially during Chinese New Year.

A shopping mall in Malaysia found itself in an awkward position when its extravagant Chinese New Year decoration was likened to a paper offering, seen as inauspicious during the festive season.

Paper offerings are usually burned at funerals and festivals such as Qing Ming Festival and Hungry Ghost Festival.

chinese pagoda

The Chinese New Year decoration in question is a red Chinese pagoda outside the Suria KLCC shopping mall in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

Photo via Mall Malaysia on Facebook.

Roughly three stories tall, the structure is adorned with gold trim, a tiered green roof, red lanterns, and lights turned on at night.

Photo via Mall Malaysia on Facebook.

Pagoda likened to a paper offering

Unfortunately, the reactions and comments online have not been very positive.

Many Internet users have noticed the resemblance of the decorative structure to the paper offerings for the deceased.

For your reference, here is what the pagoda looks like from afar compared to a typical paper house used in religious rituals:

What it looks like from afar. Photo via Mall Malaysia on Facebook.

Example of a paper house often burned during religious rituals. Photo via @247sales on Carousel.

These paper houses are often accompanied by paper effigies of helpers and drivers.

picture by Po-pi.com.sg.

On occasions such as the Hungry Ghost Festival and the Qing Ming Festival, paper offerings are often burned to appease the deceased or gain favor with deities to overcome any difficulties the living might be going through, according to Roots.gov.sg.

For more information on why paper offerings are burned, click here.

A photo of the pagoda structure being built was first shared on January 8.

Photo via Mall Malaysia on Facebook.

Not the first pagoda

According to netizens, this is not the first time that Suria KLCC has erected a pagoda to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Here are some photos of their pagoda for the Chinese New Year in 2020:

Photo via 王建 on Facebook.

Photo via Justin Lim on Mall Malaysia/ Facebook.

Photo via betty liew on Facebook.

Unhappy color combination?

Although it had a similar pagoda structure two years ago, it didn’t seem to attract so much criticism.

Some netizens pointed out that it could be due to the color combination, specifically adding green to the pagoda.

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Best images via Malaysia Shopping Mall on Facebook.

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