If you are wondering why the Chinese are playing firecrackers and fireworks in the middle of the night on the 8th day of Chinese New Year which falls on 30th January recently, read the story below…
Once upon a time, in China many many hundred years ago in a Province called Hokkien, was attacked by the pirates. It was during the first day of the Chinese New Year. The Hokkien clan have to seek for protection and hide themselves in order to avoid from being killed by the pirates. And the only place they could hide themselves was inside the sugarcane plantation. For eight days and nights, the Hokkiens survived on sugarcane as food and the moon for the light during the night at the plantation. And on the eighth day of the Chinese New Year, the pirates left without managing to harm the people there as no one was around. So on the early morning of the 9th day, the Hokkien people came out of the sugarcane plantation to celebrate their Chinese New Year with lots of food and wearing new clothing for the young and old. Everyone was so happy as no one was harmed and the celebration was carried down to the next generation thereafter from years after years.
So on every 8th day of Chinese New Year, the Hokkien clan will offer prayers at their homes or temples just after midnight to welcome the 9th day of Chinese New Year, praying facing towards the moon as a symbolic gesture of thanks for giving protection to their ancestors and making wishes for prosperity, good fortune, wealth and good health for the years to come for themselves, their children and their great great grand children. We call this occasion the “Pai Ti Kong” day in Hokkien dialect.
This story was passed down from our ancestors to their great great grand children.
Photos taken from Kg. Cina Temple in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.