Friday, February 15, 2008

CNY 8th Day Hokkien Festival

I’ve clarified with the older folks at the 8th day of CNY festival regarding the story of why the Hokkien people have a special prayer. It seems like the Hokkiens were being persecuted in China but no one seems to be able to tell me by whom. But anyway they ran away and hid in the forest where there are a lot of sugarcanes. So that’s what they ate, drank and survived on until they were able to defeat the enemy and come out of the forest on the 8th day of CNY.

Thus on the 8th day of CNY, Hokkiens will pray to Theen Kong which is one of the Chinese Gods and offer prayers, food and sugar cane. And if one can afford it, there’s usually a whole roasted pig too.

One other surprising thing I found out is that the overseas Chinese (ie those who have immigrated overseas about 3 generations ago like the Malaysian Chinese) uphold the Chinese traditions more than the Chinese in China. This is because many Chinese traditions and festivals were abolished during the time where Communism was at the most extreme as it was thought off to be a waste of time and money. The people should be working hard and giving all their resources to the government instead. And due to that, the Chinese in China who do know about traditions have passed on and the younger generations do not know about it at all.

So in some way, being as banana as I am, I may be more Chinese than mainland Chinese!

Here are some pics from the ceremony last night.

I learnt about the festival and being Chinese. And anything with fire and roasted pork is bound to be a good event!

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