Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CNY - Meaning

Lunar New Year, our most important festival of all, is fast approaching. This year, Tiger makes its roaring grand entrance on the 14th Feb while the hardworking Ox makes its silent exit after working hard for the past year.

It is the time for us, Chinese, to reflect on the meaning, traditions and customs. *roll eyes -thought I was geh - angmoh*

A trip down to Chinatown over the weekend, jostling with the crowds.

Waxed duck, sausages and what nots.
Something that got me interested years ago, when I visited a friend's house on New Year. And they told me about the Cantonese style of displaying the goodies to welcome guests and relatives.

The ‘Tray Of Togetherness’ or '春合 contains 8 Auspicious Food Items To Represent Good Fortune. The number ‘eight’ symbolises good fortune. For this reason, it is also sometimes called as ‘八宝盒’ or ‘Eight Treasures Box’. Each compartment is completely filled with an auspicious food item of significance to the Chinese New Year season.

There are more than 8 items to pick and choose from, and it just depends on the family members preferences. Each item represents some kind of good fortune.

· Sweeten Candied Winter Melons – ‘甜甜蜜蜜’ signify ‘a sweet and easy life’
· Sweeten Lotus Root – ‘佳偶天成’ signify ‘marital bliss’ or ‘match made in heaven’
· Sweeten Tangerine – ‘吉祥如意’ signify ‘auspiciousness’
· Sweeten Shredded Coconut Pieces – ‘永结同心’ signify ‘everlasting love’
· Sweeten Ginger – ‘万寿无疆’ signify ‘longevity’
· Sweeten Carrots – 金银财宝’ signify ‘wealth and precious jewels’
· Sweeten Lotus Seeds – ‘连生贵子’ signify ‘fertility’
· Sweeten Dried Red Dates – ‘鸿运当头’ signify ‘good luck in every endeavour’
· Sweeten Water Chestnut – ‘东成西就’ signify ‘accomplishment in all activities’
· Sweeten Pineapple – ‘飞黄腾达’ signify ‘great achievement in career or business’
· Sweet Potato – ‘黄金满堂’ signify ‘overflowing pot of gold’
· Sweeten Mandarin Orange – ‘大吉大利’ signify ‘auspiciousness’
· Sweeten Dried Longans – signify ‘many good sons’
· Red Melon Seeds – red colour signify ‘joy and happiness’
· Pistachio Nuts – ‘开心果’ in Chinese which means ‘happiness’

I'm so glad when I saw these. Did I buy them? No! We didn't have any guests or relatives coming to our place. We'd end up eating them and end up diabetic. Hahaha!

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