CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION IN PENANG / MALAYSIA
PENANG - CHINESE CULTURE OF LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
The Chinese immigrants from China, had brought over the Chinese culture of CHINESE NEW YEAR or lunar new year, which falls on the 1st day of the 1st month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, usually around January or February each year.
The colour red is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Red cloth is usually hang across the main door on occasions of weddings, new house warming, and Chinese New Year. Decorative items which are artistically designed using in Chinese characters, particularly with good blessing meanings, are hang around the house to
create the atmosphere of a new lunar year. Potted plants and flowers are placed at every visible spots around the house.
Children will be most happy during the lunar celebrations as they too can collect a lot of 'ang-pow' for the elders. Mandarin orange is widely consumed and also given as gifts not only among the family members, but also to friends, working colleagues and neighbours, irrespective of whether they are Indians, Malays or Eurasians. It's really a gesture goodwill and harmony. Mandarin orange when translated in the Chinese dialect literally means 'gold'. So the cultural practice of using Mandarin orange is to give and receive gold for prosperity throughout the year.
Lots of delicious good food is cooked during this festive occasion using abalone, mushroom, Chinese sausage, chicken and all other expensive and quality ingredients which are not usually bought due to cost factor.
And many of the local Chinese company 'towkays ( business owners ) would generously arrange and invite their workers to dinners at the restaurants during the festive mood to enhance closer relationship.
Not all Chinese are Taoist or Buddhist, as some of them are Christians too. But for sure, the belief is that everyone will pray for good health, prosperity, peace and harmony in the family as well as in their country.
And all the Chinese would always happily put on new clothes and shoes to welcome a new year, with high hopes and expectations of improvement in their health and all good wishes to be fulfilled in the coming year ahead.