Peranakan celebrates Chinese New Year
Posted on February 04 2016
With Chinese New Year coming up in less than a week, we would like to share one of the festivities celebrated by the Baba Nyonyas (Peranakan Chinese).
The Baba Nyonyas practices the religion and festivities of the Chinese. Therefore, Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration of the year which lasts for 15 days. It is to mark the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar.
Chinese New Year Eve
Eve of the festival is the most important where family reunion is held. The family will come together for a reunion dinner whereby lots of food will be prepared and served. Every family has their own favourites. In a Baba Nyonya family, dishes like Kiam Chai Ark, Jiu Hu Char, Chap Chai T'ng, Kari Kay, Tau Eu Kay, Hong Bak, and more.
The Chinese believe the New Year has to be greeted with new clothes for a new beginning, the home decorated in all things red to signify prosperity. There are also a few taboos observed on the first day. Sweeping of the floor or washing of clothes is refrained as they fear it might sweep away the good luck and fortune coming into the house.
The custom of praying to the God of Heaven (pai tee kong) is also observed on the eigth day of the lunar year. This day is when they present a thanksgiving feast to the God.
Last day (Day 15)
The last day of celebration is also known as Chap Goh Meh when the nyonyas (young maidens) will throw mandarin oranges into the sea hoping to find a good baba to catch their orange. This is also the day Bubur Cha Cha (image below), a sweet coconut creamed dessert is served to end the festivities in a sweet note.