Monday, February 11, 2008

5th day of the CNY

The fifth day of the Chinese New Year is called Po Woo.

On this day people stay home to welcome the God of Wealth. It is also believed to be an auspicious day for reopening of businesses.

In northern China, people eat dumplings “Jiaozi” on the morning of Po Woo. This is also the birthday of the Chinese god of wealth. In Taiwan, businesses traditionally re-open on this day, accompanied by firecrackers.

This day is also known as the Hokkien New year. On this day in the past, the Hokkiens tied sugar cane poles to their front doors. The story goes that when Northern barbarians invaded the Hokkiens, the civilians fled for protection into the sugar cane fields. They hid there for many weeks, surviving on sugar cane juice and when it was finally safe to emerge, they realized they had missed the first day of New Year. As a result they celebrated their New Year late, honoring their lucky escape by tying sugar canes to their front doors.

On the sixth to the tenth day, the Chinese visit their relatives and friends freely. They also visit temples to pray for good fortune and health.