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Hakka traditions in Spring Festival

01-17-2011 14:03 BJT

People revered the Hakkas for paying great attention to their traditional ways of celebrating the Lunar New Year. On the first day of the New Year, unpropitious words are prohibited. Sweeping the floor and cooking are not allowed. Even those often-irascible adults will also calm down their temper and speak softly. To the kids it is a day for an all-out to enjoy themselves and have fun.

People revered the Hakkas for paying great attention to their traditional
ways of celebrating the Lunar New Year.

On the first day of the New Year the Hakkas are very particular about unpropitious words. The adults will keep reminding the kids not to joke about doggerels or speak without thinking by using words that are regarded as unlucky. In the case that unlucky words were spoken out subconsciously by the kids, the adults will quickly say "Tong Yan Wu Ji", meaning taking no offence at child's babble.

Hakkas believe in the concept of money coming in through the waste. No sweeping the floor on the first day of the New Year has become a Hakka custom. Whatever needed to be swept has been swept away on the New Year Eve. Usually they put away the brooms and dustpans to an obscure place where it cannot be seen by anyone especially the guests. This is to avoid money being swept away. However, it is unavoidable that there is rubbish like peeled-off fruit skins, papers etceteras. In order to keep the house clean they use the tiny bamboo strips and tie them together in a buddle with which they broom the rubbish to the corner of the lounge. They do not wash clothes either. All the sweeping, washing and tidying the house are waiting to be done on the third day of the New Year which is called "Qiong Gui Ri", literally the Hungry Ghost Day.

The purpose of not cooking on the first day of the New Year actually is considered more as the day of rest for the housewives than a custom. The food for that day was prepared the previous day. All they have to do is to warm them up when they want to eat. It is to be remembered that some of the families turn vegetarians on that particular day only, but most of them do eat meat. The vegetarian dishes are oyster and white radish soup, oysters fry with dried lotus buds or wood mushroom and green bean noodle.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source:

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