Feb 23, 2016

12 Our Lunar New Year Practices

I can't believe that Chap Goh Meh is over! It marks the last day of the Lunar New Year celebration. Back to long months of quietness until the next festive celebration, which for me would be Christmas.

I remember the road trip to Penang just the week before. We had wanted to cross the new bridge to the island, but a flash of lightning appeared before our eyes in between frightening-looking dark clouds. We chickened out.

"Better use the old bridge."  I blurted out. "At least there are many cars there. We brave the storm together with them.." I'm still chuckling over our reaction that day.

On the eve of Chinese New Year eve, the usual ancestor prayers were performed. The family sat down and started folding joss paper into the shape of a Chinese gold ingot (Sycee). Pictured below is one I folded - nice or not?

Joss paper folded into a gold ingot.

My sister-in-law laid food on a table in front of the ancestor worship area. The family burned a few joss sticks, knelt in front of the altar and paid their respects. Fifteen minutes later, two coins were tossed to determine if the worship could be concluded or if the souls were still eating.

Food for ancestor worship.

After the conclusion of the worship, bags of joss paper were brought out to be burned.

Joss paper is placed in a cage container for burning.

Tea, water and rice was thrown around it. The spring onion was used to splash the water. I have often wondered why this needed to be done, but always forget to ask as we are ushered into the house soon after.

The burning of Joss Paper.

Tea, water and rice.

Finally, we sat together for a meal. This signifies the end of our duties to the ancestor. We can now carry on with our meal and the Lunar New Year celebrations.

The family eats together!

Jelly, Lychee Dessert

I will share how we typically celebrate the first day of Chinese New Year in another blog post. Until then, have a great week!


  1. The food serve is mouth watering especially the jelly lychee dessert. What a festive occasion for you! We also have celebrations like this here but not as much as yours there.

  2. I also could not believe that Chap Goh Mei is over. But glad everything back to normal.

    I used to help my m fold the joss papers but usually we seldom fold the sides pointed up.

    A very traditional Chinese ceremony welcoming the CNY. I hardly see anyone practise it here.

    1. I am glad too! After months of festive eating, it's really time to get back to exercising.

      Penang is very traditional in many ways. They love preserving the old, from buildings to customs.

  3. Not lion dance parade? The dessert looks sooo good.

    1. For us, that's one the first day of CNY. ^.^

  4. I love to read about other people cultures. Really interesting! I am looking forward for your next post.

    1. I love it too and hope it doesn't die out completely for the next generation. :)

  5. wow great sharing
    that's typical Chinese tradition


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