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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The 9th Day of Hokkien Chinese New Year

On the 7th day of CNy which is today.. Its known as 人日。A day which is consider a birthday for all... and many will lou hei aka toss the yu sheng tonight.

Oh ya before I forget.. this is a boring post cos no pics... this is for my own journal purposes only.

However for the hokkien, apart from the lou hei.. its another busy day for us.
Tomorrow is a night for us to 拜天宫。 At least this is the word we been using since young. . Busy with all the preparation of 拜天宫。
Hock chew derived from the group of hokkien and thus.. we also follow this custom.. untill the recent few years, when ah mah grow too old n weak to do this and eventualy passed away.

I rem.. back then.. I will look forward to this day... where we will be busy lugging our tables down to the 1st storey from the 3rd... 2 huge red tables.. like temple style... grandma will come with the most important item.. a pair of bamboo. Alongside will be a roast pig (HUGE one), roast chicken, lor ark, crabs, fish, prawns, fruits n etc.. Not forgetting laods of inscense paper , candles, and joss stick for prayers...

There is a story behind this worshipping style and the below will tell u why is the bamboo important.

Extracted from http://www.pulau-pangkor

During the Chinese Ming Dynasty, the Hokkien (they still live in south east China (in the area of Xiamen) lost a war. They had to flee their villages. Depending on what you read the attackers were foreign troops or Han Chinese. However, the most persistent story is that the invaders were from closer by: the Cantonese.

The Hokkiens fled and hid in the sugarcane fields. The Cantonese soldiers tried to find them for days but failed. After some time the Cantonese warriors grew tired of searching the fields and returned to their own areas.

The Hokkiens returned to what was left of their houses but they themselves had been spared. The day they came out of the sugarcane fields was, as they realised, the 9th day of the Chinese New Year. Grateful they had been spared they offered gifts to the Yu Huang, the Supreme Ruler of Heaven for their salvation.
As their homes were destroyed, they had little to offer. All that they had was sugarcane stalks which they offered. The tradition held on until modern days. Some say the tradition is the strongest in Penang.


yes the bamboo save our ancestor lives.. and thus it is used as offering to 玉皇.
By the stroke of 12 midnight.. we will bring out all the joss paper n sugar to burn... I still rem.. we have to reserve the parking lot right in front of our house so tat we have spce to burn those offering(now u knwo hw much offerings are there?)
And with many hokkien family around.. the whole street have about 9 or 10 family doing similar prayers. By 12.. smoke fills up the whole street.

not forgetting an interesting sight... before 12.. there will always be this couple who come bk w a tick tock thgy.. and some other muscial instrument.. they will sing in hokkien and in return grandma will give them a red packet as a token.
Sadly..such sight is no more for us to see.. otherwise I think its gonna to be somethg really interesting.. esp to the kids

Mayb I should beg dear to go out w mi tomolo after dinner n see if I can snap a pic of this.. No promise thou.. sicne the whole gang of us are gg to to have a mass celebration for V day... yes.. whole gang of couple.. Keep a look out for the next entry.