Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Happy 人日~!!!

新年快乐!万事如意!财源滚滚!步步高升!长生不老~~~~ (???)

Yeah, I was told one of my friends ACTUALLY used the last 祝词 during louhei~ Kinda scary, but I'll give her credit for creativity =D

Today is 人日~ and most people will do the louhei tonight according to Chinese tradition. If you have read my lou hei know-how post (I know some of you haven't so Imma copy paste stuff), you will know that renri is the birthday for humans.

"According to long ago belief, the first 8 days of CNY were birthdays for specific animals:
First day: Chickens
2nd day: Dogs
3rd day: Pigs
4th day: Sheep
5th day: Cows
6th day: Horses
7th day: Humans
8th day: Grains (don't ask me how this got here~ it just is...)"


According to Chinese legends, Nvwa (女娲)was the goddess who created the world. She created the different animals on different days, with human beings created on the 7th day after the creation of the world. It is said that if the weather on 人日is fine, it can be forecast that God will grant good luck to all people on earth.

No creature was to be killed on its birthday. No wonder every year on 初一, luan lor (steamboat) NEVER included chicken meat! Food was mostly seafood and pig parts. At least that's what it's like in my family.

FYI butchers do not slaughter pigs from CNYE to Chinese New Year's Day~!

I'm kina unsure as to whether we can eat rice tomorrow or not, since it's "grains"' birthday... Hmmm...


On the 7th day, which is 人日, we eat uncooked lettuce and raw fish, reason being the Chinese word for fresh or raw (生)also means "life" or "grow". Therefore eating fresh vegetables and live fish is symbolic of a long and prosperous life~ Hence we have the raw fish salad known as yusheng (鱼生).




The Chinese word for fish - 鱼 has the same pronounciation as the word for "excess" - 余, and since 生means life, yusheng is eaten for a long life and abundant wealth.


Now every ingredient is added with a auspicious phrases. I'm sure many of you don't know what to say, or have forgotten. I probably only remember the 大吉大利 and 遍地黄金. Here's a refresher~


Before you say or do anything after yusheng is being served, everyone exchanges auspicious words or phrases to each other. Here's a list to help you -

恭喜发财 gong xi fa cai
万事如意 wan shi ru yi
身体健康 shen ti jian kang
事事顺心 shi shi shun xin
学业进步 xue ye jin bu
岁岁平安 sui sui ping an




Then, you add the fish,  in Singapore, it should be salmon. =) Fish symbolises abundance and excess.
年年有余! (nian nian you yu)
 
Next, the pomelo is added for luck. Sometimes this may be replaced by kumquat paste, or lemon slices.
大吉(橘)大利! (da ji da li)


Pepper and cinnamon powder is then dashed over the ingredients to attract more wealth. These days these 2 are the ones in the ren and green packet satchets
招财进宝! (zhao cai jin bao)


Oil is added (usually sesame oil), circling the ingredients to increase profits 10,000 times (万) and to encourage money to flow in from all directions.
一本万利! (yi ben wan li)
财源广进! (cai yuan guang jin)

Plum sauce is added for laughter and happiness, as well as for couples to be forever loving.
眉(梅)开眼笑! (mei kai yan xiao)
甜甜蜜蜜! (tian tian mi mi)


Carrots (shredded) are added indicating blessings of good luck.
鸿(红)运当头! (hong yun dang tou)



Shredded green radish is added symbolising eternal youth.
青春常驻!  (qing chun chang zhu)

After which the shredded white radish is added - prosperity in business and promotion at work.
风生水起! (feng sheng shui qi)
步步高升! (bu bu gao sheng)


Chopped peanut bits 花生 are dusted on the dish symbolizing a household filled with gold and silver. As an icon of longevity, peanuts also symbolize eternal youth
金银满屋! (jin yin man wu)


Sesame seeds quickly follow symbolizing a flourishing business.
生意兴隆! (sheng yi xing long)

Deep-fried flour crisps in the shape of golden pillows is then added with wishes that literally the whole floor would be filled with gold.
偏地黄金! (pian di huang jin)






All toss the salad an auspicious 7 times with loud shouts of "lo hei" 捞起 and other auspicious New Year wishes. Lo hei 捞起 is Cantonese for "tossing luck".

The ingredients are mixed by pushing them toward the centre, an encouragement to push on the good luck of all at the table. If you can't finish the salad, don't worry, as usually a small amount is left behind to signify abundance.
 
 
On a side note, here are some snippets of my CNY~
 
 Aunt is 6mths preggers with twins!!! 龙凤胎 somemore!!! What are the chances??? I think it's symbolic that this year will be a good year for the family!!!!


My aunt's daughter, and proud sister-to-be of the pair of twins.
We have lots and lots of babies in the family this year...



2 more, but I didn't take pictures. And guess what, they are all my 表弟表妹. Yes, same generation. I fear the day when they reach my age and they start calling me auntie instead of 表姐 because they're not familiar with me... *shudders*

No I don't wanna be AUNTIE~~~~~ 

2 days ago (after filming), I had the opportunity to go to RWS with my Mum to enjoy a RWS Platinum Card member CNY Gala Dinner (thanks to Mummy's friend who gave her the tix~)
 
 
and guess what....
 
AH MEI WAS THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bet you didn't know she was in Singapore eh? I have to say, she is actually quite a cute diva. Very smiley, very friendly, and her voice is woooa good man~~~!!!

Will upload some videos of her singing later tonight k? =D

Watch this space~


The Superstars had our very own little reunion too~ Not all were present, but it's been a long time since we had such a big turnout~ 



And then~ "当我知道你们相爱~~~" joined us~ Woohoo!!!!
That's all of us that night!
(Derrick ah, eat more...)

Anywayz~ tonight there is going to be ANOTHER PSS gathering! Hope the turn out's good!!!

Then I can take more pictures~ ;)

See ya later! Enjoy your lou hei everyone!!!!

长生不老~
*~Silver~*

4 comments:

  1. Oooh, I really dig this entry with all the individual information + symbolism about lo hei (which I realized is a Singaporean CNY thing). :D

    Cheers,
    -MB
    team-moonberry.blogspot.com

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  2. Wow I never knew all these facts about CNY. Truly enlightened. I love this post -- it's long! :)

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  3. Hi Silver:) I've been following your blog a while and is finally making a comment...hehee.
    I really want to visit Sinagore, especially after this post- the food looks awesome- especially that thing with - 'Pepper and cinnamon powder is then dashed over the ingredients + (insert other ingredients I've missed out

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  4. Thanks everyone for the encouraging comments! Makes me fel that I'm not doing all these research and writing for nothing. =D Love you all!

    ReplyDelete