Monday, February 2, 2009

Tneah Kong Sneah

Today will be a big day for the Hokkiens for they will be praying to the Jade Emperor or Tneah Kong again at midnight for health and prosperity. The Hokkiens will name the ninth day of the first moon according to Lunar Calendar as Tneah Kong Sneah or the birthday of the Jade Emperor.

Usually a table which as an altar will be put outside the house. There will be two plants of sugarcane tied to both sides of it. On the table will be put fruits for offering. This include fruits such as pomeloes, pineapples, mandarin oranges, sweet glutinous cake and so on.

There is a story behind the use of sugarcane plants for this occasion. Long time ago, the Hokkiens were chased by their enemies. They ran and ran until they came to a sugarcane plantation and hid themselves there. Somehow of other, the enemies did not see them there and went elsewhere in search of them. Hence their lives were saved by this plant. To commemorate this incident, the Hokkiens will use sugarcane plants when praying to the Jade Emperor.

Firecrackers will be lit to produce din to start the praying. Although they are banned in Malaysia, some die-hards will keep them for this occasion.

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