MALAYSIA: Chinese New Year 2008 Celebration in Malaysia
Image:Melody Fan the Thean Hou Temple that I visited on New Year’s Day
In this year 2008, Chinese New Year fell on the 7th February. According to the lunar calendar, the year 2008 is the RAT year and Chinese people all over Malaysia celebrate this festival with bright red greetings and decorations of golden rat for good luck.
For example, my family celebrated Chinese New Year for 15 days from the 6th February to 21st February. There is a very special delicacy that was invented here in Malaysia where only during this festive occasion it is eaten. The dish is called “LOH SANG” and is served as a starter before dinner with friends and families. Everyone on the table must hold a chopstick and toss the ingredients which are laid out on a very big plate. The higher a person toss the food, the more “luck” is believed to be bestowed on the person.
On the first day of Chinese New Year, our breakfast consists of a special dish called “Nian Gao” and fried white carrot “cake”. We then went to the Thean Hou temple to give our offerings to the Chinese monks and deities. My favorite activity is to kneel in front of a statue of my God in the temple and receive blessings in the form of Holy Water poured out of the statue’s hands.
The tradition is to wear new clothes which generally are red in color, to ward off the evil spirits. The Lion Dance is a favorite of mine as we believe it will get rid of bad luck and spirits from our lives. My parents and I love to play Mahjong with our friends and family till late in the night. Children and single people will receive money in a red packet called “Ang Pow”. I received in total Ringgit Malaysia 2000 which is around 97,027.87 Slovenia Tolars.
Here are some pictures of places around Kuala Lumpur and how my home was decorated for this festive season..
..I’ll describe as well what it is.
This was the Thean Hou Temple that I visited on New Year’s Day. There was a performance of Lion Dance at the front entrance of the temple.
This was the statue god that I received blessings from in the form of Holy Water. This is my auntie taking a picture in-front.
small snack plate
This is a small snack plate placed on the living room table ready for visitors to eat and enjoy. It normally consists of chocolate, sweets, biscuits, sunflower seeds, etc. Normally, surrounding the turning red plate, there are fortune cookies, nuts, mandarin oranges and maybe some other snacks.
the red packets
The red packets behind the bowl of mandarin oranges are normally given out to friends and families as a Chinese New Year gifts.
You can buy it with either beef meat, chicken meat, pork meat, etc in a small slice burnt and can be eaten striaght away. It is a popular gift to give.
Chinese New Year hamper
This was a Chinese New Year hamper that my family received from a close friend during their visit to our house. As you can see, all the boxes are red and the decorations are all gold and bright red to show luck and prosperity. There are some abalones, wines, chocolate, snacks, drinks etc. wrapped inside.
a special type of flower that only opens up during the winter period
This is a special type of flower that only opens up during the winter period and it is a type of flower similar to sakura.
Normally, it is fake so that it can be placed longer in a chinese carved vassel with a red ribbon tied to it.
For my family, we added some mandarin oranges at the side and also a chinese new year card.
Chinese New Year decorations
These are some Chinese New Year decorations that we put up at my house to celebrate this festive season.
Written on the red papers are prosperous words that gives our family fortune and luck. For example, the one on the left means money would come in soon during business and also can earn a lot of money out of something small.
a chinese traditionnal art called Calligraphy
These is a chinese traditionnal art called Calligraphy and it is always the best way to make chinese greeting and words for families and friends.
It is done with a brush and black ink and has to be held in a proper way in order to achieve a nice outcome. This word is used very commonly in Malaysia and it means Prosperity.
This was the “LOH SANG” that I was talking about in the report. Everybody on the table would hold their chopsticks and toss up the ingredients on the plate as high as possible to achieve good luck. We also have to say prosperous phrases when we are tossing. The whole starter must be finishes by everyone in order to have all the luck said before.
the Mahjong game
This is the Mahjong game that I played with my family during Chinese New Year.
It is normally a gambling game however we just played for fun. It is normally played with 3 players in Malaysia but in traditional Mahjong, it is played with 4 players. The set of mahjong is normally 3 dices, a small chinese game compass and mahjong pieces.
Report: Melody Fan
Malaysian students Young Diplomats: Gillian, Fung, Bianca, Melody, Yea Rin and their teacher Ms. Kaur /Garden International School, Malaysia