MELAKA: A pair of giant Peranakan lanterns exude an ambience of festivity in the historic city as the Year of the Rabbit approaches.

Jonker Walk management committee deputy chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo said the lanterns are said to be the largest in the world, each measuring 3.6m in height and 2.4m in width.

“We are happy to celebrate the Chinese New Year like the good old days and these lanterns symbolise power, wisdom and good fortune for Melakans.

“The last two years have been challenging for us and we hope this year we are able to attract health, wealth and prosperity by drumming up the festive mood,” he said after unveiling the lanterns on Friday night (Jan 13).

The lanterns, sponsored by Himalaya Sport Candy, also received recognition from the Malaysia Book of Records, with Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing expected to hand over the certificate to Gan on Saturday (Jan 14).

Earlier, a dragon dance troupe accompanied the lantern procession from the Stadhuys building to the entrance of the Jonker Walk.

Malaysia Baba and Nyonya Association chairman Datuk Ronald Gan said that there was only one traditional Peranakan lantern maker left in the country.

He said the unveiling of the giant lanterns would also keep a dying art alive as well as showcase the cultural nuances of the community.

“This traditional lantern cost more than RM20,000 and features intricate workmanship,” he said.