Chinese New Year’s Eve

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By Luci Lizares

www.winners

Saturday, February 1, 2014


THE Chinese and the Chinoys take great pains in preparing for their Chinese New Year. Rituals on food, house cleaning, prayers, decorations, lanterns especially because this is the Spring Lantern Festival, the most important holiday for the Chinese, are made ready before midnight.

Lacson Street is very festive with the red lanterns for the three-day celebration. With friends celebrating birthdays and some BFFs in town, the Eve of the Chinese New Year was pretty hectic but all out fun with new experiences.

The happenings started at noon with my fellow legionaries of Mary as we came together to cheer another year for Sally and Nenit with an authentic Chinese lunch. With bird’s nest soup opening the sumptuous parade of food and ending with buchi! Apres, a short walk to burn those calories devoured, we had our regular Thursday meeting.

Just a short rest and my visiting friends and I decided to meet to watch the fireworks, which I would always brag, is one of the best in the world! Indeed this is true! The Bacolodiat fireworks can curtain the sky with its sparks. It all depends if budget is ample but it is always a highlight and worth watching. We were getting ready to depart for the Lagoon when I heard booms in the air. It was just a few minutes past eight in the evening. All published and printed schedules said it was to be at 9 p.m. Why the change? That brought quite a confusion and disappointment as well.

To be in the heart of the merriment, we decided to join Aboy at the L’Fisher. Lacson Street was heavy with human traffic and to be with and in the pulse, Bibing, Miren and I walked the tourist belt! There were enough entertainments and “sights” along the walk. Even snakes joined the merriment. Big ones at that!

We wanted to experience something religiously new and culturally different so we proceeded to the Yuan Thong Temple down Burgos Street. The Temple was fully adorned with lanterns and in the very essence of the festival.

To acquaint us with the tradition, Ray Granada was a gem. He explained that we fall in line in silence for the big gong. At the stroke of midnight, we were to hit the huge gong and make three wishes as we did so. You have to muster all your strength to do this in order to create a resounding resonance. Mine was not as resounding but not as faint as well so I am sure my wishes did not fall on deaf ears.

After that, Ray further instructed us on how to light some incense and make our prayers. There was a wishing tree, too and we also partook in this tradition.

New Year Christian or Chinese always start with good cheer! We are all one in the eyes of our Lord or Buddha as we welcome the Chinese New Year 4712, not 2014 wishing happiness, good health and prosperity to all!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 01, 2014.

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