Monday, February 06, 2006

Tian Gong Festival

Today is the eighth day of the Chinese Lunar New Year but this will be a day where the Hokkiens will be busy starting their preparations for the Tian Gong Festival.

The Ninth Day – Tian Gong Festival is an important day to Fujiang (Hokkien) people; it is even more important than the Chinese New Year.

It is said that during the Qing dynasty, Fujiang people hid themselves in sugar cane forest until the eighth day of the New Year to escape from Qing armies. Those who did not die thought that they were saved by the gods. As the ninth day is the birthday of The Heavenly God (Tian Gong), they decided to worship Tian Gong on that day. Among the sacrificial offerings, there was sugar cane. On one hand , cane is their saviour and on the other hand , it symbolizes success.

So with this belief continuing, the Hokkiens had celebrated this happy occasion on a yearly basis starting the prayer offerings to The Heavenly God (Tian Gong) on the nite of the 8th day of the CNY. Firecrackers will be lighted to celebrate the occasion because the Hokkiens consider this day to be their first day of CNY.

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