Sunday, February 25, 2007

Today is the 8th day of the 1st month in the lunar calendar. Tomorrow is an important day, being the birthday of the Jade Emperor, or 天公诞. The prayers would normally start at 11pm on the 8th day, and go on until 1am the next day. The earlier one starts, the greater the respect paid to the diety.
The Hokkiens celebrate this day in grand fashion, as it was believed that, in olden times, their ancestors were being attacked by pirates/ Japanese pirates/ Japanese soldiers; and 天公 protected them from certain deaths, by conjuring a sugarcane/ pineapple/ durian/ banana plantation for them to hide in.
As a result, sugarcanes features prominently in the celebration. Pineapples, pomelos, bananas, apples, mandarins and melons may also be offered.
One can either offer vegetarian menu ( vermicelli, lily flower, chinese mushrooms, wood fungus, beancurds, beans, red dates, chye sim, peas, green beans ) or non-vegetarian ( suckling pig, whole roast duck, whole roast chicken-must be neutered rooster, crab, whole fish, whole goat, fish roe, pork or pig stomachs ). On top of 红龟果ang ku kueh, biscuits, 发糕, mee sua, longevity buns in the shape of peaches, puffed rice pastries 麻米姥, flowers, tea and wine. All together the total number of dishes should be 12, 24 or 36.
Paper offerings include incense, candles 天公烛, paper house 天公屋, bank notes 天公金 and fire crackers.
After the offerings, and the diety has indicated His pleasure, the family may sit down and enjoy the feast.


At 9:44 am, Blogger Harimau said...

Can Aunty, thank you so much for your insightful knowledge about 天公诞. I learn something new every day from you!

At 8:31 pm, Blogger Vegie said...

Where is this place ?

At 11:13 pm, Blogger cat_aunty said...

Dear Vegie, I don't know. I got them off the internet. Looks like Malaysia.

Dear Harimau, you are welcomed. I wam interested in these things.


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