Dinner Together Welcoming the Chinese New Year

A tradition that lasts from a long time called long tok

Yu sheng, adding of ingredients - Image credit Nathaniel

Chinese New Year also known as Lunar New Year with its unique decorations have become a commonplace for Chinese people since ancient times, say some like rows of lamps from lanterns, to enliven Chinese New Year celebrations. You can see it in several areas of China Town, or also areas that are inhabited by people of Chinese descent.

There are many more ornaments typical of Chinese New Year, including Chinese culinary specialties. Even then you can witness the tradition of having dinner along with a long table covered with red tablecloth to entertain the big family in attendance.

As they then prepare for the event, quoting CNN Indonesia, Feb. 15, the long table lined with red tablecloths is called a long tok in Chinese terms that takes place on the 30th of the month Cap Ji Gwee, the last month, the Chinese family will have dinner with a large family named duan yen fan.

A long tradition with the spirit of equality, sitting as lowly, close together and eating the same food without distinction.

A special dish to the members of the extended family, yu sheng which is a new year salad, in the form of chopped fish, carrots, turnips, oranges, pepper powder, sesame seeds and fried banana skin.

All have meaning, fish means hope of sustenance increases, carrot means luck, turnip mean spirit, powder powder means wealth, sesame seed means prosperity and banana fried skin means gold overflow.

The uniqueness is typical, when a large white plate of salad is consumed for eight people, before eating, they stand around a plate of yu sheng while squeezing the lime, then say, "Ta ci ta li."

A word that means hope, may togetherness and tranquility always exist in the family.

The following sentence is spoken together, "Yu man fu thien," which means wealth continues to grow, and pours sweet spices while saying, "Thien thien mie mie," which means the hope that peace and happiness are always in the family.

Followed by the following words, "Fung thiaw yi sun," which means always given the ease and smoothness in life, and eight people stirring the salad together with each chopstick, lifted together, ending with the saying, "Lo hey lo hey lo kow fong sue hey," which means luck in the new year.

Unique, distinctive rituals that illustrate the desire to live life well and prosper. A tradition that lasted for centuries, and aims for the common good in the future life.

Gong Xie Fat Chay! Happy Lunar New Year!

Source: M Andika Putra - CNN Indonesia
Image: Nathaniel via Wikipedia


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