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EDM staff got together just before the Chinese New Year long weekend to celebrate by sharing a giant-size yusheng.
Here is the yusheng before the salad tossing began:
CHINESE NEW YEAR TRADITIONS
Chinese New Year is the most important festival celebrated by the Chinese. Lasting fifteen days, it is also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. There are many traditional practices associated with this festival.
- New Year's Eve: After the reunion dinner, leave the lights on until 12.30am. Children stay up late as it is believed that this practice will ensure their parents have a long life.
- New Year Day 1: Don't sweep the floor or you will sweep away your good luck. Visit your relatives. make sure you have red packets to give out if you are married.
- Day 2: If the shops plan to open on the third day, they must open for a short while on the second day, to symbolically announce the reopening of business the next day.
- Day 3: The third day is known as "chi kou", directly translated as "red mouth". "Chi kou" means "the God of Blazing's Wrath" adn it is generally accepted that it is not a good day to socialise with relatives and friends. Avoid visiting others.
- Day 4: Toaists pray for their gods to descend from heaven back to earth. They burn paper offerings, printed with sedan chairs, to fetch the gods back to the mortal world.
- Day 5: A noon, Taoists welcome the gods back. People used to light up firecrackers, in an attempt to get the God of Wealth's attention, thus ensuring his favour and good fortune for the new year.
- Day 7: Man's birthday, the day when everyone turns a year older. restaurants are full, and everyone eats yusheng for good luck, as well as noodles for longevity.
- Day 8: At midnight, pray to the King of Heaven for long life, good fortune and health. Among the offerings made to the King are two branches of sugar cane to represent all the generations in the family, and a bunch of bananas to represent fertiltity. Teochews offer only vegetarian food, while Hokkiens offer only meat, incluidng a pig's head.
- Day 9: Trousers should not be washed because it would offend the King of Heaven.
- Day 15 (Chap Go Maey): The family gathers for dinner to celebrate the closing of the new year. Business people then go to temples (the Waterloo Street temple is popular) to get two red packets, each containing 20 cents. These are put in the till of their shops to bring in revenue. The favourmust be returned before the end of the year with four red packets.