Wednesday, 5 February 2014
農曆正月初七人日 7th Day of Lunar 1st Month - All Human Kind Day
在這一天﹐身為”子孫”的我們﹐一定的前往供奉有女媧元君的宮廟向” 祂”獻上最忠誠的感謝。沒了我們的”母親” 女媧元君﹐也就沒有今天的你我他。
7th Day of Lunar 1st Month (農曆正月初七), the Day that Empress Nv Wa (女媧娘娘) descended into this Mortal Realm to create Human-kind, making Men out from Soil (泥土造男) and Women from Water (泥水造女) - (approx time period: 400-5000, 000 years ago).
In Chinese Culture, this Day is known as Ren Ri (人日) aka Human-kind Day, it’s the Birthday of All “Human”.
Till today, on the 7th Day of Lunar 1st Month, Chinese & Taoist still visit Temples to Honour Empress Nv Wa, thanking her for her Compassionate & Kindness of creating Human on this Mortal Realm. Besides that, Chinese & Taoists will also eat a type of Dish, made from 7 types of Vegetables known as Qi Cai Geng (七菜羹) to celebrate the New Born of Human-kind. Hoping that by eating the Qi Cai Geng, ALL Bad-issues will be eliminated and Good-issues will bestowed onto Oneself and ALL Mortals in this Mortal Realm.
Few Decades ago, in Singapore, the 4 Famous Cantonese Chefs created a Lunar New Year Dish known as Qi Cai Lao Qi Yu Sheng (七彩撈起魚生 – See Picture below) accordingly to the Culture of the consuming of the Qi Cai Geng. Till Today, during Lunar New Year period, this Dish became a MUST-eat dish for Chinese.
In Singapore, besides eating of the Lao Qi Yu Sheng, Chinese & Taoists will also go to Temples to pay Respect to “Mother of ALL Human-kind” Nv Wa Niang Niang. The most Biggest & Oldest Nv Wa, was in being honoured in Telok Blangah Tian Gong Temple (天公廟), located beside Block 45.
During the Honouring, Chinese or Taoists will bring 7 type colours Flowers (七色花) to honour her and also, for those who collect Nv Wa Stone (女媧石 – See Picture below), they will bring it to the Temple to allow the Energy of Nv Wa to bestow on it.
Other info on 7th Day of Lunar 1st Month 正月初七相關資料:
Seventh Day of Lunar New Year, known as Ren Day (人日) aka Day of Human or Mortal, in some contexts, this Day is also being addressed as the Birthday of All Human (人生辰). This is to keep in memory that on this Day, the Universe created Human.
So what are the usual practices on this Day?
In Myth, on the 7th Day after the Universe is formed, Nv Wa (女媧) created Human. In-order to show our gratitude towards Nv Wa, the Chinese or Taoists will visit Temples that are dedicated to Nv Wa to pay respect to her.
In China or Taiwan, the Chinese or Taoists still keep this practice, but in Singapore, seldom you will see the Chinese or Taoists visit Temples to do the honouring.
Besides that, the Chinese will prepare a dish that is made up of 7 different kinds of Vegetables to celebrate the Birthday of Human.
These 7 Vegetables are:
1 – Celery 芹菜
2 – Water Chestnut 荸荠
3 – Spinach 菠菜
4 – Spring Onion 青蔥
5 – Garlic or Chinese Leek 大蒜
6 – Chinese Cabbage 蒿麗菜
7 – Mustard 芥菜
In the Ancient Era, folks believed that by eating these 7 types of Vegetables, all misfortune & bad-luck will be eliminated and good luck will be bestowed upon oneself in the New Year.
After this custom being imported into Singapore, the 4 Famous Chefs in the Early 1900s invented a dish known as Qi Cai Yu Sheng (by adding the 7 different type of vegetables with fish-slices, 七彩魚生). Till today, our local Chinese still like to consume the Yu Sheng on every 7th Day of Lunar New Year. In Cantonese known as Loy Hey (撈起).
So, any other Deities that one self must pay respect to?
Yes, besides Nv Wa aka The Mother of All Human, the Chinese or Taoists shall pay respect to The Great 9 Star Lords of the Northern Dipper Group (北斗九皇星君).
In certain part of the Chinese History, Chinese or Taoists will pay respect to the 9 Star Lords to request for blessing on improving the Luck of one self in the New Year.
After the custom being imported into our Hokkien Custom, on the 7th Day of Lunar New Year, the Hokkien, Chinese & Taoists will visit Temples to pay respect to them, if not, the Hokkien, Chinese or Taoists will pay respect at home.
It will be great if one self can do the requesting of Prolonging of the Life-span of one selfs Parent.
How to go about with the honouring?
1st, prepared the Five or Ten Taoist Offerings (道教五/十供), if not, just prepared 5 oranges (五顆桔子), Nian Gao (年糕), some traditional cookies (傳統糕點), 3 cups of Chinese Tea (三杯清茶), then, place them on the Main Altar.
2nd, when one self is ready, light 9 Incenses (九支香) and kneel down sincerely facing the Heaven (for those who house is facing North will be the best)
3rd, make a short report on who you are, where you stay, what is the event and then, make a short request
4th, after paying respect, stand up, make a simple bow and then place the 9 Incenses into the Main Urn on the Main Altar
And the whole honouring is considered completed.
Why 9 Incenses are being used?
9 to represent the 9 Star Lords of the Northern Dipper Group – 7 visible (七現) & 2 invisible (二隱).
Besides using the 9 Incenses, some folks will like 7 Lamps or 9 Candles to represent the 9 Star Lords.
So what to do after the honouring?
Distribute out the offerings to the other family members, allowed them to get the blessing from the 9 Star Lords.