Sunday, February 13, 2011
Buffetting : Embracing Tradition 3
There so many cultural practices in the Chinese tradition, and some were shared between ethnics while some weren't.
拜天公(Bai Tian Gong/BTG) is one of those which is practiced by most Hokkien families. Due to the large number of Hokkiens practicing this culture, it managed to nab a significant number of Chinese from other ethnics to practice them as well, under the wings of Hokkiens of course.
BTG is celebrated or rather, performed on the night of the 8th day in the lunar calendar, and the ritual of praying and gold paper burning starts usually around 0000 hours of the 9th day in lunar calendar. Unlike the CNY reunion dinner, BTG plays a much more significant role in the CNY of Hokkiens, which explains the hassle of preparation and details for the day.
Preparations includes the folding of piles and mountains of 金纸（Golden Papers), buying tonnes of 供品（Sacrificial Things(with the lack of words)), and also preparation to be hauled and screamed over minor problems by the mother.
As the eldest son of the family, Binn can get away from nothing. Each chore and duty requires my participation with maximum devotion and output. Although the responsibility comes with the reason that Binn has nothing to do for the next 8 months, I bed to differ as I had to complete the similar tasks whether I liked it or not for the past years. Unlike the younger siblings who are allowed to get away with the tasks, Binn had to pick up after their mess.
The typical chores includes folding golden papers, sticking up red strings around fruits and packets of nuts and tin foods, helping the father to carry things around the house, serving the food and pig.
Did Binn mention pig? Yes because behold:
More like pork I guess.
The night reached its climax when the piling of the golden paper mountain starts. This is when all the criticism from each and every one of the family starts to devouring each other. Issues such as:
1. The paper you folded looked like thrash.(mum)
2. The way you stack looked as if the whole pile might crash any time.(elder sis)
3. The shape of the circle looked like an egg.(binn)
4. OMG, you are so fat already stop sitting of the seemed-to-be-broken stool!(bro)
5.I can't stand the girl you like at school she looked like AUNTY only.(elder sis)
6.You know, there was a guy at school masturbated and put the semen on the pass of my teacher!(younger sis)
7.(younger sis) There's only one girl who looked pretty in scho../(snapped in by elder sis) Yer she is so ugly and they say she is pretty??!!!
And the conversation went on till the whole burning fiesta took part:
And the night ends with a stuffed supper.
Personally, I don't think I will celebrate BTG as much as I do now in the far future. Maybe just a small gathering and some traditional food, but I wouldn't follow as rigid as what the book the father bought as referral says.
Plus, my dream house for the first 10 years in my career is a condo, and the rest a gold course. So, I can take my time.
So, any other CNY traditions to share?