Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Jade Emperor's Birthday

You can find all our posts on Chinese New Year HERE

The 9th day of the Lunar New Year, Ti Kong Dan, marks the birthday of the Jade Emperor. Also known as the Heavenly Grandfather, Emperor of the Universe, and Ruler of all heavens (the Chinese have 33 heavens), he is the most important Chinese God according to Taoism.

On the eve of his birthday, there is more feasting and firecrackers. On his birthday, the Chinese crowd his temple and offer prayers to their Heavenly Grandfather. 

This day is especially important to Hokkiens, whose traditional offering is sugarcane. According to legend, the Hokkien were spared from a massacre by hiding in a sugarcane plantation during the eighth and ninth days of the Chinese New Year, coinciding with the Jade Emperor's birthday. Offering sugarcane is symbolic of their gratitude.

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