CNY pagoda decoration outside M'sian shopping mall compared to offering for Qing Ming festival

The fine line between Chinese New Year and Qing Ming Festival.

Karen Lui | January 17, 2022, 05:25 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Nailing 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, which is regarded as inauspicious during this festive period.

Paper offerings are typically burnt during 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 Kuala Lumpur's city centre.

Photo via Malaysia Shopping Mall on Facebook.

Around three storeys tall, the structure is adorned with gold trimmings, a green multi-tiered roof, red lanterns, and lights that are switched on at night.

Photo via Malaysia Shopping Mall on Facebook.

Pagoda likened to paper offering

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

Numerous netizens have noticed the decorative structure's resemblance to 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:

How it looks from afar. Photo via Malaysia Shopping Mall on Facebook.

Example of a paper house often burnt in religious rituals. Photo via @247sales on Carousell.

These paper houses are often accompanied by paper effigies representing helpers and chauffeurs.

Photo by

During occasions such as the Hungry Ghost Festival and Qing Ming Festival, paper offerings are often burnt to appease the deceased or gain favour with deities to overcome any difficulties the living might be going through, according to

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

A picture of the pagoda structure being constructed was first shared on Jan. 8.

Photo via Malaysia Shopping Mall on Facebook.

Not the first pagoda

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

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

Photo via 王建 on Facebook.

Photo via Justin Lim on Malaysia Shopping Mall/ Facebook.

Photo via Betty Liew on Facebook.

Unfortunate colour combination?

Despite having a similar pagoda structure two years ago, it did not appear to draw as much flak.

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

Read more

Follow and listen to our podcast here

Top images via Malaysia Shopping Mall on Facebook.