Wednesday, February 16, 2005

All Hail the Jade Emperor

The 9th day of Chinese New Year....

has been seen as the most important day to the Hokkien ( a.k.a Fujian - a province in China; also a chinese dialect ) people as it was on this day that the entire clan of Hokkiens were spared from being massacred.

The story goes that a long time ago, another ethnic group attempted to kill all the Fujian Chinese causing them to flee into a forest of sugarcanes, hiding there until the 8th day of Chinese New Year when their enemies had gone.


On the 9th day of the Chinese New year, they went home and re-celebrated their Chinese New year. Preparations begin on the morning of the 8th day, by buying all the essential items needed for the celebration – sugar cane stalks, roasted pigs, cooked meats and fruits which will be laid out in front of the houses as offering. At the stroke of midnight, they give thanks to the Jade Emperor, also known as the God of Heaven.

Firecrackers are let off and the night sky is ablaze with fireworks. Businessmen of the Hokkien community take the festival quite seriously – their bountiful offerings are both for thanksgiving and in anticipation of a prosperous year ahead.

Although I'm hokkien, I don't celebrate this anymore, but I just thought I'd share some of my heritage

16 comments:

*~*Holly*~* said...

You said that you are Hokkien. Is that a religion, a nationality, or a cultural thing?? I am just curious to know where you stand in the religion aspect. I have read when you posted that you had to go to bible study. I'm just curiuos. This will not affect my opinion of you in any way, as I hope that you don't let it affect your opinion of me knowing that I am a Christian.

Well, I am very tired. Working on my senior research paper for 2 weeks solid will wear a person out!

*~*God Bless*~*

Desmond Goh said...

Hi Letti, I am hockkien too. But I don't celebrate 9th day now. Where I stay, I could hear firecrackers blasting non stop near SS2 and Damansara area.
Your postings for the CNY is most informative and have arouse some interest amongst westerners. Good for you.

Michelle said...

Hey Letti,

I'm a hokkien too but I neither speaks nor understand the language.

Raven the Pagan said...

Just want to say thanks for sharing. I've learned alot about Chinese culture just from your blog. Nice to see someone proud of thier heritage. Good job Letti.

Ngakaari said...

That is a very cool story!

:)

Sarah said...

I never heard of that, But it sounds great. I really didnt know it was all such a big event. Thanks for sharing x x

anna. said...

lol I'm still getting over the fact that I have to go all the way to a malaysian blogger in the states to find out about chinese new year in my chinese neighbourhood! :)

this chinese friend of mine asked me the other day which day of CNY it was. he wasn't sure, but how should I know? :) I love it when people don't notice I'm not from around here.

and damn, we need to educate the rest of the world about chinese culture. ;) Holly's missing out on stuff *like hokkien mee!* yum

Elizabeth said...

Hi, Letti!

Thank you so much for sharing with us your culture and heritage. Your blog's always a fascinating read.

-Ehle

makuahine said...

Oh wow how interesting! Thanks for sharing!!!

mmitch said...

Hey there, I came across your blog (very interesting read by the way) and was wondering if you were
interested in taking part in a blog marathon?

As im sure you already know a blog marathon is a good opportunity to bring the blogging community together and also raise awareness of your blog.

Check out http://blogmarathon.blogspot.com/ if you want to join in.
Thanks Michelle

ashleymclure said...

Thanks for sharing! it's neat learning about other cultures.

Sally said...

Between you and Desmond I understand more about the traditions my parents practice. They are not good at communicating about why they do the things they do...

Lilly said...

Hi, I also have Chinese ancestry. Most Chinese here in the Philippines have their roots in Fujian province. I am amazed at your knowledge of tradition, I am not even aware that Chinese New Year celebrations go beyond the first day!

JosephDP said...

Letti,

Gung Hei Fat Choi in the year of the Rabbit.

Thought of you yesterday while watching the SF parade.

JosephDP said...

er...

Rooster not Rabbit

My humblest apologies. 'Tis touch getting old. ;-)

lynnee said...

desmond: my place was no better :)

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