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Chinese New Year In The Philippines

1211 words - 5 pages

Culture is an ambiguous concept but, however understood, it relates to identity and belonging. I have always had a huge interest in cultures with long history and traditions. China enjoys a rich culture, and with thousand years of development, Chinese culture is one of the most influential cultures in the world. Chinese people influence and hold on to their culture wherever they migrate to, I have learned this during my travel to the Philippines last year in February. The biggest influence of the Chinese culture in the Philippines is the celebration of Chinese New Year or the Lunar year. From the red envelopes hanging on top of their gates, dragon dancers, to the fireworks, Food plays a ...view middle of the document...

Along with them, they brought Chinese customs and culture and festivities- the most important being the Chinese New Year. It is not an official holiday but a festive celebration in the Philippines. Nian Gao (or Tikoy in Filipino Term) originated when Fukienese, from southern China, migratde to the Philippines in the 15th Century. Filipino-Chinese people believe that eating is sweet and sticky this season symbolizes unity in the family. Nian Gao is considered as a centerpiece to honor the past and present generation because they believe that the spirits of their ancestors are aroud on New Year’s.
In China, Families would gather on New Year’s eve to prepare different dishes which has auspicious meaning behind it. It's connected to longevity, reunion, perfection, good luck, health, diligence, satisfaction or promotion based on the homophone of the dish's name. Family members are supposed to have some from every dish. So they can eat and chat for longer time and share love and care during this time. Families believe that offering Nian Gao is a sacrifice or a bribe given to the Kitchen God. The Kitchen God is a popular deity most Chinese would worship every year The Kitchen God not only watches over the domestic affairs of a family, but he is also a moral force in the lives of all family members. A picture of the kitchen God is hung in the kitchen, this plays a significant part in the Chinese New year. Chinese believe that the kitchen God goes to heaven at the end of the year to report about the family’s behavior to the Emperor of Heaven called Yu Huang. Families will be rewarded or punished accordingly depending on their behavior. The family gather at the table to have a thank you dinner and Nian Gao is placed infront of the Kitchen God's ’picture. Offering Nian Gao to the kitchen god a week before the chinese new year, will ensure that the Kitchen God’s mouth is too full to pass a negative report, others believe that sweet Nian Gao is a bribe to the kitchen God to say good things about the family. They burn the picture of the Kitchen God and thereby sent to heaven. After the start of the Chinese New Year’s festivities, a new picture of the Kitchen God is hung in the kitchen.

Nian Gao, als called year cake or rice, is a cake made out of gloutinous rice flour. This is the main cuisine during the chinese new year. It comes in red boxes,...

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