Mostly Chinese still practices certain Chinese traditions. Every year without fail, we’ll offer prayers to send off “Zhao Chun” (Kitchen God).
Other prefer to send the deity off right after the stroke of midnight on the 24th day of the 12th lunar month, but other usually perform this ritual on the actual day, usually around 7 am.
Following Teo Chew tradition, some used a bowl of rice, bowl of sugar, thnee kuih (sticky glutinous rice cake) and 12 folded joss paper horsed during the sending off.
Usually Hokkiens, will offer trangerines, thnee kuih, huat kuih (properity cake) and Chen up ( comprising longan, red dates and sugar) but for Teochew only offer the basic item.
According to Chinese beliefs the kitchen God would report on merits and demerits of each Chinese household to the Jade Emperor during his annual trip back to the heaven.
Thnee Kuih is a must during the annual send off as the sweet glutinous rice cake is said to sweeten the deity’s mood and ‘seal’ his lips to prevent him from making any un favourable reports. Chinese households would only be allowed to clean the alters in their house after sending off the deity.
This is an act of respect to the deity. We will welcome the deity back from heaven on the fourth day of Chinese New Year with prayers.