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GONG SEE FATT CHAI

In less than 2 weeks time chinese the world over will be ushering in the new lunar year. This year is the year of the rabbit. I’m taking this opportunity to wish everyone who will be celebrating this festival a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. May your life be blessed.

While all of us are enjoying ourselves, let’s not forget to do 3R. Re-use previous year decorations and if possible use “angpow” to create your own chinese new year decoration. To get started on your own DIY deco, click here.

green bitch/witch  

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MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL

Tomorrow is 22nd September and chinese the world over will be celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival or better known to most as Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival to the younger generation;  (traditional Chinese: 中秋節), is a popular harvest festival celebrated not only by Chinese but Korean, and Vietnamese people.

Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated every year on the 15th day on the 8th month of the lunar calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest.This year happened to fall on the 22nd September, Wednesday. To many, this is the day the family gather to eat mooncakes and kids will play with lantern. I’m not too crazy about eating mooncakes because they are so very sweet. There are many variety offered to cater to every taste. Mocha flavor, green tea, durian etc. You name it, they’ll create it. How did this festival comes about ?

During the early years of the Qin rule, chinese people practice praying to the sun in spring and moon in autumn. The Mid-Autumn Festival derived from the tradition of worshipping the moon. The forefathers believed that the harvest depended on the Moon Goddess. Without her showers of rain and constant changes to reflect the season s, it would be impossible to have a bumper harvest. The rites and rituals for moon worship were usually done on a grand scale.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the few most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Chinese New Year and Winter Solstice, and is a legal holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos under the moon together. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as  putting pomelo rinds on one’s head ; carrying brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, floating sky lanterns ; burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang’e (Chinese: 嫦娥 ); planting Mid-Autumn trees; collecting dandelion leaves and distributing them evenly among family members and etc.

The ancient believed that the sun was yang and the moon was yin. Hence, the deity that lived in the moon had to be a female fairy. Every culture all over the world have their own myth and legend regarding the moon. For the chinese it’s the tale of Chang-e flying to the moon that has been circulated since the Han Dynasty and she has been associated with the moon ever since. Below is a concise version.

The Legend of Chang-e

Once there appears to have 10 suns in the sky causing people to suffer. The divine archer Hou Yi shot down 9 of them and was banished to earth with his wife Chang-e to live as mortals. Later, Hou Yi acquired an elixir of immortality, but as he had changed for the worse after living on earth, Chang-e drank the potion and flew to the moon alone.

For a more on the legend read here.

So how did mooncake becomes part of the celebration ?

Legend has it that it originated towards the end of the Song Dynasty when the Mongols invaded China. The common folk suffered under their rule and hence planned to revolt. To keep their plans from being discovered, the hid messages in round cakes which were sent to every family. On the 15th night of the 8th month, the people rose up in revolt and killed the Mopngol invaders as they slept. Mooncakes are eaten on this day every year to commemorate this event. The round mooncakes of the past have since evolved into the present-day mooncakes with fillings. Mooncakes are round, symbolising reunion and completeness. Therefore, eating mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival represents the family’s togetherness and living in sweet harmony.

As to how lantern are associated with Mid-Autumn Festival, I am still not sure. Since I can’t find any reference to it accept that it’s part of the custom or ritual to light lantern and float sky lanterns. Normally, children are the one most happy, parading their lanterns.

Whatever the case, enjoy your mooncake. Psss…. try not to buy mooncakes that overdo on packaging. As we enjoy this day, please remember that reducing our over indulgence on unneccesary packaging can slowdown the process of turning our earth into a garbage minefield. Go for minimalist packaging and you can still enjoy the festival. Whatever the day, festival it maybe, practice your 3R – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.

HAVE A WONDERFUL MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL.

green bitch/witch


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I never heard of Chinese Valentine Day until I was way pass my puberty. Eventhough I’m from a chinese family, I’m english-educated and so do not follow too much the stories, legends or customs of old. My family celebrated the basic festivals like Chinese New Year, Mooncake/Mid-Autumn Festival, Qing Ming Festival, Lantern Festival and Dumpling Festival are being observed.

I fully understand about it after watching a tvb drama (accidentally because I don’t normally watch chinese drama) called “The Legend of Love”.  The drama tells of a very tragic yet magnificient love story ala ‘Romeo & Juliet’. In this case, she is a weaving maid from heaven and he is a cowherd. Force to be separated and only to met once a year (on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month). This day is also known as the Weaving Maid Festival. Known as many name such as Qixi Festival (Chinese: 七夕節; pinyin: qī xī jié; literally “The Night of Sevens”), also known as Magpie Festival.  It also inspired Tanabata (aka. Shichiseki [七夕]) in Japan, Chilseok (칠석) inKorea, and vi:Thất Tịch in Vietnam. Only in recent decade it’s been call The Chinese Valentine’s Day.

On the eve of the seventh day of the seventh month, the Cowherd Star (Altair~ s the brightest star in theconstellation Aquila and the twelfth brightest star in the night sky) would be seen in the northeastern region in the sky, and opposite in the northwest would be the Weaving Maid Star (Vega~brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the fifth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere). This year 2010, it falls on the 16th August.

The story or legend of this pair goes something like this (very concise version) ~ The Weaving Maid was the Queen Mother’s daughter. She came to earth one day and met the cowherd. The fell in love and were married, and had a son and a daughter. When the Queen mother took the Weaving Maid back to heaven, the cowherd give chase but was stopped by the milky way. The magpies in the sky then formed a bridge for them. The Queen Mother finally agreed to let them meet each other on the eve of the seventh day of the seventh lunar month on the Magpie Bridge.

On this night, young ladies would pray to the Weaving Maid and Cowherd. The Womenfolk in the ancient time would thread a seven-holed needle. Being able to accomplish it quickly meant that one had  skillful hands. They would also capture spiders and place inside a box. They would open the box the nest day, if the cobwebs inside were dense, means that they had gained in dexterity.

To all lovers out there, whether you’re chinese or not, may this Chinese Valentine Day bring you closer together. Be thankful for the person next to you every second of your life.

MAKE LOVE NOT WAR. REMEMBER THAT ‘LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND’

green witch/bitch

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June 5 is World Environmental Day. This year 2010, the theme is Many Species. One Planet. One Future. Apparently, everyone is into the word ONE. In Malaysia, we are into the slogan One Malaysia and everything else nowadays will be tag One ……

It’s interesting to see we have finally willing to acknowledge that we all are ONE. All sharing ONE planet and trying our best now to move together to save this planet in 0rder to have ONE future.

The United Nation Enviromental Programme has a series that explain clearly on how we all as ONE can work towards ONE future.

Celebrate nature’s genius! Don’t that says everything. Open your eyes PLEASE!!!! See the beauty and diversity around you and imagine if suddenly they are no more there and your children’s children will never be able to see and experience all these. This planet is for all, past present and future. Do something now before you take away the future that wasn’t even yours to take/destroy. To read and be more pro-active go here.

To get the info material you see here and more go the the UN website. There you can also download template to create a t-shirt.

HAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL DAY 2010. AS ONE WE MOVE FORWARD. CHEERS

Green witch/bitch 😉

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At the stroke of midnight of February 14, to many it’s Valentine’s Day but for this year 2010, it’s the start of the Chinese Lunar Calendar of the TIGER. The Chinese mark the year by the 10 Heavenly stems and 12 Earthy Branches (match 12 animals) and are arranged in order : Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. This year mark as the Year of the Metal Tiger. In order to enjoy and keep this beautiful and graceful beast to continue to roam on earth, let us all make a pledge to not buy any products that encourages the killing/ poaching of this feline.

In the spirit of Roaring year of the Tiger, I wish everyone will join me in doing our best in preventing the extermination of the tigers. As of date, the are roughly about 300 tigers in the wild and everyday their numbers are decreasing. Make this year a GREAT one by joining WWF : Tx2 Tiger Campaign.

From February 14th to 21st, WWF-Malaysia will be launching our “Tx2” tiger conservation campaign and  invite members of the public to join us for fun activities at FGS Dong Zen Temple. WWF-Malaysia is working with other WWF offices in countries that are home to tigers on this campaign, which aims to double the number of tigers in the world by the next Year of the Tiger, 2022.

Come visit WWF-Malaysia’s booth, as we will be providing educational information about tigers and promoting our “symbolic tiger adoption”. You can purchase a pair of special edition tiger plush toys (the first day of Chinese New Year this year falls on Valentine’s Day) and the proceeds will be channelled to our conservation work.

WWF-Malaysia Booth
When?     14th to 21st February 2010
Where?     FGS Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom, Selangor

In addition to visiting our booth, you can also enjoy participating in the following exciting activities at Dong Zen Temple:

Making the tiger mark
Get down and dirty as WWF-Malaysia’s field biologists teach you how to make your own tiger pugmark plaster cast and bring it back as a souvenir!
When?     16th February 2010
Time?        First session starts at 11.00am; last session is at 5.00pm

Face-painting:
Be part of history as WWF-Malaysia attempts to paint 1000 faces to symbolise the target of achieving 1000 wild tigers in Malaysia by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.
When?      20th February 2010
Time?       Session 1: 10.00am to 1.30pm
Session 2: 3.00pm to 6.30pm

Tiger trail:
Go on a tiger trail around the temple grounds, earn stamps and bring home a gift.
When?     21st February 2010

To find out more about the tiger-themed event at the temple in Jenjarom, Selangor, log on to: http://www.fgs.org.my

To everyone who will be ushering in the year of the Tiger this coming February 14, here’s wishing you and your love ones a happy prosperous, healthy and fantastic year ahead.

GONG XI FATT CHAI

As you and your family enjoy the festivities, do remember “REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE”.

Cheers

green witch/bitch

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source : Julie L.

source : Julie L.

Zhong Yuan Festival or more commonly known as Hungry Ghost Festival (中元节) is a traditional chinese festival celebrated by chinese all over the world.  In the chinese lunar calendar, it falls on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month.

The chinese traditions belief that on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. During the Qing Ming Festival, the living descendants pay homage to their ancestors and on Ghost Day, the deceased visit the living.

On the fifteenth day the three realms of Heaven, Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Originally, Zhong Yuan Festival was a day to rememberance of ancestors. After Buddhism was introduced to China the festival took on a Buddhist flavour and become known as Yu Lan Pen Jie (chinese translation of the sanskrit term ullamban, meaning ‘to be suspended in suffering’. According to legend, this festival originated with the attempt of Mulian (Maudgalyayana, one of Buddha’s disciples) to save his mother.

Maudgalyayana’s mother had died and fallen into hell, where she had to compete with hungry ghosts for food. Maudgalyayana had the power of clairvoyance and could see her plight. He tried to send her food, but when it reached his mother’s hands, it would burst into flames. The Buddha taught him to makr offerings of food to placate the other ghosts so that they would not snatch food from her.”

Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss stick, paper form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living. Zhong Yuan/ Ghost Festival includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations.

Since young, everytime when Hungry Ghost Festival month draw near, many tend to stay home as not to met any wondering spirit.

Source : Julie L.

Source : Julie L.

Light a candle to remember those who has gone before us.

green witch 😉

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hertage-celeb

With just a blink of an eye, a year has past since GeorgeTown & Malacca was listed UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. How time flys ……. There’s a celebration to commemorate the 1st anniversary. The highlight is this weekend 25 – 26 July (Sat & Sun). If you are free make a trip there and enjoy the cultural heritage celebration.

There will be stage performances, arts and crafts; the streets and historical monument will be the theatre sets. The idea is to encourage visitors to walk about the city from one performance to another. Admission is FREE to almost all the performances and venues.

Below is the schedule for the 2 days event.

25-7-2009 • Sabtu / Saturday

9.00am – 2.00pm Free Boat Ride – Lim Jetty, Weld Quay

9.00am – 11.30am “Street of Harmony” Heritage Walk “Street of Harmony” – Meet at Town Hall, Jalan Padang Kota Lama

9.00am – 5.00pm Penang Heritage Exhibition – INTI International College Penang, 1Z Jalan Bukit Jambul

10.00am – 5.00pm Food, Craft, Art & Music Festival – Dewan Sri Pinang, Lebuh Light

10.00am – 10.00pm Art International Festival (Art workshop, art forums & drama performance) – Town Hall & Wawasan Open University

11.00am – 7.00pm Exhibition on the Acheen Street Mosque History and Islamic Traditional Culture – Acheen Street Mosque, Lebuh Acheh

3.00pm – 5.00pm Gostan Forward a solo performance lecture by Marion D’Cruz – Penang Heritage Trust, 26 Lebuh Gereja

5.00pm – 10.00pm Food Stalls and Craft Demonstration – Islamic Museum Park, Lebuh Acheh

5.00pm – 7.00pm “Street of Harmony-Heritage Zone”

5.00pm – 9.00pm Hokkien Puppet Theatre – Cheah Kongsi, 8 Lebuh Armenian (Open House, 9.00am)

5.30pm – 9.30pm Teochew Opera – In front of Goddess of Mercy Temple, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

5.00pm – 10.00pm Islamic Musical Performance – Acheen Street Mosque & 35 Lebuh Queen

5.00pm – 10.00pm Little Penang Street Market Craft and Food Corner of Little Penang Street Market – Lebuh Armenian

6.00pm – 10.00pm Open House – Meng Eng Soo Temple, Jalan Pintal Tali

6.30pm – 10.30pm Showcase of Teochew & Chinese Culture (Dragon Dance, 24 Seasonal Drum, Teochew Opera,Traditional Games, Chinese Dance & Teochew Delicacies) – Inside & in front of Teochew Association, 127 Lebuh Chulia

7.00pm – 10.00pm Indian Dance and Classical Music – Next to Kuil Arulmigu Mahamariamman, Lebuh Queen

8.00pm – 10.00pm Multi ethnic street performance – “Street of Harmony – Heritage Zone”

8.00pm – 10.30pm “Road to Dawn” Film Screening “Road to Dawn” – Penang Chinese Town Hall, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling

9.00pm – 10.30pm George Town Sebagai Tapak Warisan Dunia UNESCO Closing Ceremony of The 1st Anniversary George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site Celebration – Khoo Kongsi, Lebuh Cannon

gtherimapSource: UNESCO Heritage Brochure

26-7-2009 • Sunday

8.30am – 11.00am Chingay Competition – Jalan Padang Kota Lama

10.00am – 5.00pm Food, Craft, Art & Music Festival – Dewan Sri Pinang, Lebuh Light

10.00am – 10.00pm Art International Festival (Art workshop, art forums & art auction dinner) – Town Hall & E & O Hotel

10:00 am – 5:00pm Little Penang Street Market – Upper Penang Road
www.littlepenang.com.my

This will be our third anniversary and also part of Penang’s celebrations of the first anniversary of the World Heritage Site listing for Georgetown. So lots will be happening, including the usual fabulous range of more than 60 stalls showcasing all sorts of wonderful things, plus live performances and gallery presentations. There will be an emphasis on “Our Heritage, Our Future”, so part of our programme will see various children’s groups performing traditional and contemporary pieces.

10.30am Malay and Indian traditional dancing
11.30am A medley of Chin Woo and other dances
12.00pm Children from Sungai Pinang perform drama, dance and music
12.20pm Children from Kumpulan Warisan Jemari present a medley of Malay performances
12.30pm Children from YWCA presenting a medley of heritage dances
1.00pm Rozz and the Frequency
2.30pm Wayang Kulit at 2.30pm presented by the Bayu group
3.00pm Gostan Forward a solo performance lecture by Marion D’Cruz – Panggung Sasaran, USM

Below are some links for those of you who would like to more about GeorgeTown.

http://igeorgetownpenang.com/

www.lestariheritage.net/penang/index.html

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1223

and get the UNESCO Heritage Brochure here.

HAPPY 1ST ANNIVERSARY GEORGETOWN & MALACCA.

green witch;)

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