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CHINESE NEW YEAR
It is customary to mark the start of the lunar New Year with spring cleaning. On the 24th day of the 12th lunar month, according to traditional schedule of Chinese New Year preparations - cleaning starts on this day. This is a tradition practice by many Chinese, that cleaning ‘dust’ in Chinese is homophone for ‘old’, thus driving away the bad luck of the previous year to allow for a new start, on a new year.
1ST DAY OF THE 1ST MONTH
TIAN GONG DAN
During the Ming Dynasty, now modern day Fujian province, was a place rife with outlaws and bandits. One fateful Chinese New Year, these bandits went from village to village, killing and looting indiscriminately. Fearful for their lives, some villagers escape in the dead of night, hiding themselves in the sugarcane fields. They prayed hard to the Jade Emperor for their survival. The bandits continued their search for a few days before finally giving up on the 9th day of the Chinese New Year, which coincidentally marks the birthday of the Jade Emperor.
Happy that they survived the ordeal, the villagers decided to pray and provide offerings to the Jade Emperor in return for their salvation. Sugarcane became a prominence in all Hokkien celebrations, and this was how the practice of Tian Gong Dan came to be.
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