Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Pai Tin Kung , Hokkien thanksgiving day
Yesterday marks the 9th day of CNY in the lunar calender. Its also the time for Hokkien Chinese community , to celebrate the Jade Emperors birthday or Tin Kong Seh . Common believe also that the Hokkiens in Fujian province survived a prosecution from the Sung Dynanty soldiers by hiding in the sugar cane plantation on Chinese New Year for nine days, and they came out unharmed on Jade Emperors birthday and they believed that its been protected by the Jade Emperor. That also explains why sugarcane is a must in this ceremony.
More than 20 food offerings are offered to appease to Jade Emperor , also knows as Tian Kung. This includes 5 types of fruits , 6 types of vegetarian items and 3 meat dishes comprising chicken , fish and pork. Sweets cakes like ang ku , fatt koh are also being offered together with pineapples and sugarcanes as well as 3cups of chinese tea and 5 cups of rice wine.
Kam Chu ( or golden pig/ roast pork ) are offered depending on budget. Some offer cuts of a roast pork while some offered the whole pig.
Hard boiled red eggs and mee suah and noodles are must have items , as this dishes are traditionally served during birthday.These offerings are then arranged in a certain order in red tables facing the main gate. Normally ritual would start after midnight.
Joss papers included kim jua ( gold paper ) , paper houses featuring designs like dragons, the 8 immortals or pheonix are then burned as an offering to give thanks and seek his blessings in return.