Health is a gift of life; it is something you receive and continue to receive, each day. In addition to everything else we do to be healthy, we have to be grateful for our health to continue to receive more health!
Eighth day (26th Feb)-Pray to God of Heaven
On the eighth day, the Hokkien people have another family reunion dinner and at midnight they pray to Tien Gong, the God of Heaven.
Ninth Day (27th Feb) – Make offerings to the Jade Emperor
The ninth day is to make offerings to the Jade Emperor. To celebrate his birthday, Chinese prepare three bundles of long noodles, three tea cup with green tea, five different kinds of fruit and six different kinds of dry vegetables to workship Jade Emperor.
Tenth Day- Twelfth Day (28th till 2nd Mar)- Invite friends for Dinner
The tenth through twelfth are days that friends and relatives should be invited for dinner. Place an abundance of food on the table to attract wealth luck, and also have guests in to celebrate the day with you.
Thirteenth Day (3rd Mar)- Cleansing the system day
After so much rich food, the thirteenth day should have a change in diet with a simple meal of plain congee and mustard greens to cleanse the system.
Fourteenth Day (4th Mar) – Preparing for Chap Goh Meh
The fourteenth day is devoted to preparations to celebrate the Lantern Festival which is to be held on the fifteenth night. You can invite friends and relative for dinner at home if you wish, this is one of the best days during CNY.
Fifteenth Day (5th Mar)- Chap Goh Meh (Chinese Valentine’s Day)
The lantern festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the New Year. It is the first full moon of the year. Invite friends for party. This is also the Chinese Valentine Day. Single should use magic mirror to capture the moon’s energy to help you to attract your soul mate. This day, everyone should consume sweet soup with starch balls.
Seventh Day (25th Feb)- Everybody’s Birthday
The seventh day of the New Year is considered the birthday of all human beings. Long life noodles are eaten during this day to promote longevity, and raw fish is eaten to symbolize success.
Yu Sang- unique to the CNY celebrations in Singapore and Malaysia, Yu Sang is essentially a salad of paper-thin raw fish, abalone, finely grated vegetables, candied melon and lime, red and white pickled ginger, pomelo sacs, sesame seeds, jellyfish and peanuts all tossed in sweet plum sauce dressing. The Chinese will have yu sang on the 7th day of CNY. Everyone should make a wish and say it loud during the tossing or mix it together.
Besides being full of flavours and textures, yu sang is loaded with symbolic meaning. The raw ingredients signify the renewal of life and the sound of the word for fish in Cantonese sounds like the work for properity.
Here is the step by step for putting the ingredients before everyone mix it together.
1) Salmon – Lin Lin Yau Yue ( Means : Abundant prosperity year after year)
2) Squeeze the Lemon – Dai Kat Dai Lei (Means : Big prosperity coming)
3) Pepper – Ng Kuk Fung Sou and Po Po Koh Seng (Means : Big harvest and continuing improvement in future)
4) Plum Sauce/ Oil- Choy Yun Kwong Zhun and Kum Yuk Mun Tong (Means : Wealth comes to the family and fills the home with lots of jewels)
5) Peanut/Sesame/ Lime skin – Tai Chi Hong Po (Means : Business expands and will succeed effortlessly
6) Cracker – Moon Dei Wong Kum (Means: Your floor is overflowing with money)
Second Day (20th Feb)- Day of Commencement
The second day is the important “Day of Commencement” when businesses and households begin a new year of work with the commencement lunch. Cooks prepare a lavish line-up of dishes comprising chickens, shrimp, oysters and abalone. For enterprises such as retail shops, these popular new year mainstays are turned into hearty fares that include chicken, preserved duck, braised seaweed with dried oysters and carp. The lavish meal inspire good team spirit and raise hopes for a profitable year.
On this day, the Chinese pray to their ancestors and to the Gods. They are extra kind to Dogs and feed them well as the second day is the birthday of all dogs.
Third day (21st Feb)- Day of Arguments
The third day is a day to avoid social interaction, since this is the Day of Arguments. Staying home is the wise thing to do; what better way to spend the day than to continually indulge in eating mouth-watering New Year treats? Again, auspicious- sounding ingredients such as lettuce and seaweed top the list of ingredients to be used.
Fourth Day (22nd Feb)- Make offerings to Kitchen God
The fourth day is when the Kitchen God returns after a brief trip to Heaven, where he has delieverd an account of the familie’s behaviour over the previous 12 months. It is important to make offerings to the Kitchen God. Many families have a poster of the Kitchen God in their kitchen. The custom is to offer a ceremonial meal to the Kitchen God to make sure that he gives a good report on the family’s behaviour when he returns to heaven. Sticky Cake (Nian Gao) is popular, or children may rub honey on him. If you are still studying or you have children, this is the day to pray to God of Education for good study and examination luck. Go to the temple with offerings such as garlic (good on calculation), celery (makes your child very hard working), leek (wisdom) and 4 brushes (2 scholastic objects which symbolize excellence in scholarship).
Fifth day (23th Feb)- Birthday of the God of Wealth
The fifth day is called Po Woo. On this day, people should stay home to celebrate the birthday of the God of Wealth. No one visits families and friends on the 5th day because doing so will bring both parties bad luck. So it is an important day to make fruit and incense offerings to the God of Wealth and then to ask for blessings. If you perform prayer rituals, the Wealth God is sure to grant you wealth luck. All the fruits and foods you are offering should be prepared in sets of five, as offerings to the Wealth Of God from the 5 direction.
Sixth day (24th Feb) – Good time for visiting
The sixth day till the ninth day is a good time for visiting relatives and friends. These are also good days to visit temples to pray for good fortune and health. Bring auspicious gifts along during visiting or praying, such as mandarin oranges, mushrooms and sweets.
First day (19th Feb) Of Chinese New Year
The first day of the Lunar New Year is the day to welcome the Gods of Heaven and Earth. Many people abstain from meat on the first day of the New Year because this ensures long, happy lives. Customs dictate the most families begin the first day of CNY with a vegetarian meal to counter the effects of excessive feasting on New Year’s Eve. The choice of vegetables includes exotic types of mushrooms, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts.
New Year Eve (18th Feb)- Reunion Dinner
Reunion Dinner with family. When the clock strike 12am..my dad will pray and light up the fire craker, parent and relative will start giving us ang pow.
The horse gallops off at midnight for the Goat to make its grand entrance. We must be the only country in the world where so many different calendar years are celebrated. And we should rejoice in that.
Today, most of those who celebrate Chinese New Year will take part in the traditional reunion dinner, a time of reflection and thankgiving as family members return to their hometowns.
Fire crakers and fireworks are no longer the monopoly of the Chinese community and even the angpow shows up, in different colours at the festivals of the other communities.
Today is also Ash Wednesday, which mark the beginning of the season of Lent. For those of the Christian faith, this 40 day season leading to Easter Sunday is a time of penance, reflection and fasting.
Most M’sian tend to focus on the major festivals as a time of celebration. Festive occasions such as CNY provide opportunities forms to discard our differences and focus on the fact that we are all in the same boat.
Gong Xi Fa Cai everyone. May the year of the Goat brings us all great joy, love and peace.
Note: supposed to post it before new year but no time,lol…so I post it today 🙂