Friday, February 11, 2011

Pai Thnee Kong on the 9th Day of Chinese New Year (Jade Emperor of Heaven Prayers)

The prayers altar, decorated sugar cane and my home made mi ku (tortoise bun). I decided to make these mi ku when I couldn't get soft tortoise buns in Kuala Lumpur like those from Penang. Having grown up in a Chinese Baba and Nyonya (Straits born) family, I always looked forward to the 9th day of Chinese New Year. As a young lad growing up in Butterworth, I have many fond memories of the days we made offerings and prayers to The Jade Emperor of Heaven (Pai Thnee Kong). I really missed the taste of my grandma and mom’s home made bee koh (glutinous rice with coconut milk), huat kuih (rice flour cake with Toddy which is palm wine made from coconut flowers), ang ku (a type of nyonya kuih, glutinous rice flour with green beans filling) and mi ku (steamed tortoise buns). During that time, celebrating the 9th day of Chinese New Year was a grand family affair and it involves every family members. Everyone in our neighbourhood would be praying as well and I had a great time playing fireworks with my childhood friends. After the prayers, my mom would be chopping away the whole roast pig to share with our neighbours and we would have feast of roast pork meat as late supper (or maybe early breakfast because the prayers would only start at midnight). Ahhhhh, the good old days! Now, since my mom and dad are already in their eighties, I am taking over the reign from them in offering prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven and carry on this colourful family tradition. Before the prayers start, I drove my kids around my neighbourhood to show them how others celebrate this festival. Some houses are packed with guest and relatives; just like having a midnight party! LOL! My kids and wife helped out in preparing food and paraphernalia for the prayers. All of them, especially my daughter was every excited to participate in the prayers. As the clock struck twelve midnight, I woke up my little 3 year old boy so that he can join in to pray as well. He was equally excited as well to see the prayers altar and the decorated sugar cane which is a must have for the Hokkiens. Ok, got to go now…..to enjoy my roast pork with mi ku! LOL!

26 comments:

Small Kucing said...

is there anything you cant do?

wah lau eh...now become the man of the Clan ya.

Gong Xi Fatt Chai!

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

I remember this night. The musicians would come and play their particular brand of music. Keong Hee Huat Chai!

Alice Law said...

No wonder you are so good at cooking, you are from the Baba Nyonya clan! Salute! My goodness, you can even make the tortoise buns, really put me to shame lar... friend!>_<

wenn said...

ya, i missed the good old days esp the bi koh

Christine said...

thanks for sharing your traditions. Wow, your parents are in their 80's.

suituapui said...

We do not to this... Very interesting. This isn't the one for prosperity, is it? The one they always sing about- "Chai Sern tao..."(The Prosperity God arrives).

Somewhere in Singapore said...

My grandma used to pai thnee kong, but she passed away, now no pai thnee kong liao...

Sheoh Yan said...

Pete, I really salute you. Self made "miku" to pray. Yours look so grand. Thanks for sharing, I will try to do better in this prayer.

Yvonne said...

Straits born.... No wonder you cook so well. I agree that it's hard to get soft mi-ku from outside stalls. My in-laws and hubb usually do the praying while I need to attend to my young kids - means, bring them to sleep and most of the time I, too, doze off :p

Hayley said...

I always like Pai Ti Gong, despite the fact that I gotto stay up late, and may be working the next day...
The miku looks yummy!

Caroline Ng May Ling said...

the tortoise bun looks so cute! lol

tuti said...

thnee kong pai is so grand!
wish you plenty of food all year through!

Bananazஇ said...

Missed the miku..just to check on "hung-cheng" in Penang how much is the sugar cane going? Here in Klang Valley it was RM8 last year and heard some even got it at RM12. Next going up like superman would be roses for Valentine's Day..haha

[SK] said...

yeah, the 9th day of CNY is the biggest day for Hokkien descendants, and i'm sure you did some firecrackers as well??

Pete said...

Smallkucing : Still got lots of things I cannot do larr..., just trying my best....
Now become Tai Kor already! ha ha ha!

Keats : I think that is Chap Goh Meh, when they have the Baba & Nyonya Dondang Sayang troupe performing.

Alice : Still need to improve my tortoise bun recipe a little, he he he!

Wenn : Love those nice bi koh..., hard to get good ones nowadays!

Christine : My parents are very old, preparing myself to carry on our family tradition...

STP : Ha ha ha, the God of Properity ones are more for serious Fung Shui believers....I think they pray on other days, and they will choose a direction to pray too....

Sharon : oh, you should continue on the tradition.

Sheoh Yan : I was trying to follow as close as possible what my parents do. Actually, mine also very simple only.

Yvonne : Can be real tired if you are working the next day.....nowadays the kids are so active, I would also dozed off before my little toddler sleep.

Hayley : Real nice to stay up late for Pai Ti Kong....., I overslept the next day! LOL!

Tuti : Wishing you plenty of food year too....eat lah, don't worry! LOL!

Bananaz : I got a pair for RM8 (RM4 each) from Kepong Baru Wet Market wholesaler.
Roses, can come to my house and pluck, bunga Roselle adalah....ha ha ha, just kiding! LOL!

Pete said...

SK : My kids played some Pop Pop......,LOL!

umihoney said...

Hi Pete,
Thank you for sharing this.I find it very interesting.Great tradition and I always love Straits peranakan dishes.Now I know why you are such a talented cook.

Pete said...

Umi : Tradition should be kept alive....add more colours to life! LOL!

cleffairy said...

The other day I saw one big roasted pig during pai tien kong! Scary... they never even cut the pig!

Quay Po Cooks said...

I totally agree that we have to keep our tradition. Nice read and photos.

willie a.k.a reptoz said...

HeLLo Pete,

It's good to read your comment again in my blog. Have not seen you for quite some time.

I have not seen a red bun before, not to mention, a tortoise bun. I just knew that you are a Chinese and it's good that you keep the tradition alive with your parents who are in their eighties. I'm sure they are proud of you.

well the food you mentioned are delicious especially the roast pork you mentioned. Next time, SMS me la...i can join you or help you to finish it. Hahaha!

Have a nice day!

Bananazஇ said...

Pai pai tee kong
Ho sim ho heng
Po pi Pete hup keh peng peng aun aun
Than tua looi huat tua chai
Kim nee hua men siew li (mercedes)
Meh nee bay bungalow
Kamsia tee kong ~;).

Annie Q said...

Oh, so you're celebrate the 9th day of chinese new year? Like STP, we don't celebrate this day at Sarawak, only when i come over here i only know about this day.

Some people will engage lion dance on this night also, like on of the house near my area down the road..every year mid night got lion dance and they will light fire crackers and fireworks..big celebration.

Annie Q said...

Have i wish you Happy Chinese New Year and GOng Xi Fa Cai? If no, hope you don't mind a very belated one! hahahahha...still catching up my blog hopping!

Bananazஇ said...

Congratz! Saw your postings being featured in the Sunday Star today 20feb2011 under Metro "Discovering Lumut". Blog on bro..

mommyscchoo@yahoo.com said...

ya.... we still hv all these going on in Penang, so 'lau jua'. Like me Hakka oso go to relative house to tumpang lau jua.

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