Pai Thnee Kong or Praying to the Taoist Jade Emperor of Heaven   Leave a comment

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Pai Thnee Kong or Praying to the Taoist Jade Emperor of Heaven
To the Malaysian Chinese of Hokkien descent, tonight is the actual start of Chinese New Year to them. Hokkiens are the Chinese from Southern part of China namely Fujian Province. As legend or historical account has it. the Hokkien was hiding in a sugar plantation when they were invaded by savages from other areas of China. After hiding for 8 to 9 days in the sugar plantation, they finally returned to their villages safe and sound. They offered prayers to the Taoist Jade Emperor of Heaven for looking after their welfare and safety during the terrible invasion. They started the Chinese New Year from the 9th Day of the Chinese New Year with “Pai Thnee Kong” from that day.
This is still practised by Malaysian of Chinese descent especially in Penang Island where a lot of Hokkiens stay. As I am a Hokkien, I continued with this traditional practice but now with fruits, cakes made from glutinous rice and dumplings made from flour including the imitation piglet-like pastry. Last night at midnight of Monday 15/02/2016 or start of Tuesday 16/02/2016 – 9th Day of 2016 Chinese New Year was when I prayed to the “Thnee Kong” or Jade Emperor in Hokkien. In the past a whole roasted pig is offered but as Malaysian Chinese of Taoist/Buddhist religious observance started to practise more vegetarian inclined diet. As a strong deterrent the price of a mature roasted pig has raised many folds to a price over RM1,000.00 (US$300.00) per pig. Do you notice the symbolism of tying two sticks of sugarcane at the table? The Hokkiens do not forget the safety sanctuary provided by the sugarcane plantations. We are indeed grateful. The ceremony ends with the burning of joss paper and fire-crackers but these are banned in Malaysia.

SP Lim

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From Wikipedia:-
The Jade Emperor (Chinese: 玉皇; pinyin: Yù Huáng or 玉帝, Yù Dì) in Chinese culture, traditional religions and myth is one of the representations of the first god (太帝 tài dì). In Taoist theology he is Yuanshi Tianzun, one of the Three Pure Ones, the three primordial emanations of the Tao. He is also the Cao Đài (“Highest Power”) of Caodaism.

The Jade Emperor is known by many names, including Heavenly Grandfather (天公, Tiān Gōng), which originally meant “Heavenly Duke”, which is used by commoners; the Jade Lord the Highest Emperor, Great Emperor of Jade (玉皇上帝, Yu Huang Shangdi or 玉皇大帝, Yu Huang Dadi).

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Worship and festivals

The Jade Emperor Ritual at Yuzun Temple in Sanxing, Yilan of Taiwan on the Emperor’s Birthday.
The Jade Emperor’s Birthday (天公誕) is said to be the ninth day of the first lunar month. On this day Taoist temples hold a Jade Emperor ritual (拜天公, bài Tiān Gōng, literally “heaven worship”) at which priests and laymen prostrate themselves, burn incense and make food offerings.

In the morning of this birthday, Chinese and Taiwanese households set up an altar table with 3 layers: one top (containing offertories of six vegetables (六齋), noodles, fruits, cakes, tangyuan, vegetable bowls, and unripe betel, all decorated with paper lanterns) and two lower levels (containing the five sacrifices and wines) to honor the deities below the Jade Emperor. The household then kneels three times and kowtows nine times to pay homage and wish him a long life.

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