Chinese Style of Celebration

 

 

English: Traditional Chinese wedding attire

 

Contemporary red envelopes
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:

 

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The Chinese Tradition of Marriage

By P Chong                                                                               Sat. 4 September 2010

The Chinese Character for Double Happiness

There are three events in life that the Chinese really celebrate:

  • marriage celebration
  • the birth of a child (full moon celebration)
  • Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
  • Birthday celebrations are not a norm, except the landmark ages of 60, 70, 80 & all that . . . Celebration on the negative side will be in the event of “untimely” demise of the dear departed including Qingming Festival (All Souls’Day).

Red is Auspicious

Without order chaos exists. Even mechanical things work on a system, from a simple clock to the planetary system of the universe. If any part of the system should break down, the whole mechanism stops to function.

By the same token, it is true to say of the human society. It can only function properly with a system or order, otherwise chaos will prevail. This is a verified truism as exemplified by the way Chinese society is structured & conducted with particular reference to the question of marriage, which reflects the great importance attached to the concept of the family unit. The way the Chinese address their nation as their “national family” bespeaks the significance of the basic family as its core. Thus the way the individuals conduct themselves can make or break the hierarchy.

There is much to be said about arranged marriages in those days. Whatever your modern misgivings with ideals of love & romance, these marriages did come with problematic packages. The go-in-between and both the in-laws first investigated all details of the young man and lady in respect of compatibility with particular reference to their “animals” of birth, as whether it’s the year of the rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat monkey, chicken dog and pig. It’s astrology of an unique kind. The West would refer it as consulting the stars. There is much truth in that the characteristics of the personality do spell out clearly by the animal year of birth. Taking such precautionary steps avoid the pitfalls of marriage.

Talking of surprised or problematic packages in marriages, brings me to mind of a fictional story. It could well be true beyond your wildest imagination . . . it’s so funny, ridiculous & amazingly laughable.

This is seriously Funny . . .

Two men met at a bus stop and struck up a conversation. One of them kept complaining of family problems. Finally, the other man said: “You think you have family problems? Listen to my situation.”

“A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter. We got married and got myself a stepdaughter. Later, my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter, my stepmother. And my father became my stepson. Also, my wife became mother-in-law of her father-in-law.”

Much later the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father’s son. But he was also the son of my wife’s daughter which made him my wife’s grand-son. That made me the grand-father of my half-brother.”

This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the half-sister of my son, my stepmother, is also the Grandmother. This makes my father, the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father’s wife, I am my stepmother’s brother-in-law, my wife is her own child’s aunt, my son is my father’s nephew, and I AM MY OWN GRANDFATHER!”

And you think you have FAMILY PROBLEMS!!!”

Moral: Order prevails, otherwise chaos assails.