Contemporary red envelopes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is something to be said about the Chinese when it comes to the question of celebration. And celebration not quite in the sense as generally observed by most people. Being a Chinese myself and having been largely Western educated with the benefits of having lived one score & ten years of my life in Australia, I can safely tell you that the Chinese are the most assiduous economic seekers.
They work both hard & smart without really ever taking a break or a holiday.
Before the introduction of modern way of business & labour operation, the Chinese as I know them work 24/7. Their holidays mean work & more work, as I would always say “Hard work will not a person kill, but sheer idleness will.”
My own grandfather & father lived by this philosophy, and in all the years of my father’s natural life, who raised up the nine of us siblings literally with the skills of his two hands, he had only been to Singapore and once to India with a cousin of mine. Needless to say, my grandfather known as “Mopeng Kaya” by the local Malays, never went anyway for holidays.
From thew womb to the tomb, the Chinese will never fail to celebrate the great & memorable occasions of birth, wedding & death.
Baby’s Full-Moon Celebration
30 days after being born, a Chinese baby is held in high esteem & will celebrate the occasion known as the “Full Moon” with red eggs, yellow rice & chicken curry, distributed far & near among all relatives & some close friends. It’s a real big thing.
Character represents “Longevity”
The other question of birth has to do with birthdays and not just any birthday. It is mandatory to celebrate the 60th & the 80th birthdays. These two great days are significant in the life of the Chinese. Red is the colour to go by in all the celebrations as in the distribution of red packets containing even sum of money known as “Ang Pow”.
Chinese “Ang Pow”
Chinese wedding celebration knows no limit too. The grandeur of its celebration spells the status & wealth of the people concerned. Rolls-Royce limousines as bridal vehicles & other luxurious imported vehicles make the scene.
Chinese wedding traditions
In life as in death, celebration goes on. Celebration mean eating. Food is the medium of celebration. The size of the banquet depends upon the economic status of the celebrants & also upon the significance of the day. There is also the question of “saving face” or as in Singapore they would express the notion of “Kian Soo” (not to lose out). In the Western world, it’s worthy in keeping up with the Joneses but for the Chinese it’s more by outdoing your relatives, friends & neighbours. Of late it was reported of a wedding banquet for 808 tables held at Liede Village, Guangzhou,
That is how celebration takes on the progressiveness of immensity.As a nation, there are other great festival celebrations such as Autumn Spring Festival or known abroad among the Chinese folks simply as Chinese New Year celebration, an occasion to match Christmas, or if not to outmatch it.
National holiday such as this create great havoc as great problems arise out of the need to cater transport for mass movement of people – a MUST-GO-HOME kind of thing to celebrate. But these days,the Chinese are beginning to take holiday trips locally to places of interest or abroad for their holidays. With millions on the move, that itself create the atmosphere of celebration.
With redness prominent everywhere & the ding & the bang of “noise” fill the air. It’s more “noise” than “music” with the classic display of lion dance & dragon dance for bigger occasions. These dances are performed with great kung-fu skills & artistry – nothing short of great gymnastic performances.
A picture is greater than ten thousand words. Here’s a slideshow to depict the colour, size & immensity of Chinese celebrations: