Kung Hei Fat Choi: Celebrating the Chinese New Year

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Saturday, January 25, 2014


OTHERS call it the Lunar New Year, in China it is called the Spring Festival, and the majority recognize it as the Chinese New Year – few days from now till the redolence of the spirit of the centuries-old celebration will be experienced once again this January 31st.

The night before of the 31st is the biggest event of the Chinese New Year’s Eve – the Reunion Dinner where family members from far will gather and celebrate it with various Chinese dishes on the tables.

“We gather with close family members in a smooth round table. We eat Nian gao or Tikoy for longevity,” Chinese businessman Greg Marten Lao said.

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Tikoy or Chinese New Year’s Cake is made from sticky rice and is available in the local supermarkets all year round.

Aside from Tikoy, the red envelope Angpao, is one important tradition in the Chinese New Year’s celebration. “It is mostly given to those who are not yet married and the young people. Sometimes, they put it under the pillow for the money to flourish more,” he added.

After the dinner and hours before the Chinese New Year, Chinese families go to temples and light their first incense of the year to pray for a prosperous and lucky year.

Chinese New Year in Oro

Filipinos are known for the strong superstitions and beliefs. The C. Ventura Store at Velez Street, locally known shop for its feng shui items and other Chinese figures, is visited not only by the Chinese but also by Filipinos.

Upon entering the store, two behemoth laughing Buddha will welcome you. Aside from them is the wide-range variety of Chinese items like zodiac bracelets, porcelain beaded bonsai-like plant, incense and other items that you can choose from.

The whole store almost has no pathway for plentiful of items are occupying every single space there is. Jeff Ventura, owner of the store, also offers a feng shui reading service which is one of the many reasons why believers would flock to the place. Prices start at P199.

Food is one thing that completes the celebration. Tikoy, pork dumplings, siomai, etc. can be found in stalls inside the supermarkets or some supermarkets sell these themselves.

Mall activities

Malls also encourage participation from the Kagay-anons like Centrio, SM and Limketkai.

On January 30 & 31 at the Activity Center in Centrio, there will be the Chinese New Year Exhibit with Feng Shui consultation from 10am to 7pm. The Chinese New Year lucky food and lucky charms will also be featured during the event.

On February 1 at the same venue, Oro Christian Grace School will have its Chinese New Year Program with the Lion Dance and Dragon Boat. They will also have an Ethnic Group Costume show and a lot more activities.

SM City will also hold activities from January 25 to February 2, 2014.

For shopping enthusiasts, there will be a Chinese Bazaar from January 25 – 31 at the Entrance 3 Hallway.

The SM Supermarket has its perks too as they will have their Pick-A-Lucky Ang Pao from January 25 – 31.

On January 26, the Culinary Institute Cagayan de Oro will also have its cooking demo. The event will start at 2pm.

Three events will grace on January 31 at the Event Center: at 10am, a performance of the Lion Dance by Kong Hua School; at 2pm, Stand Ballet School will have its Chinese Ribbon Dance and Fan Dance; and at 4pm, there will be a Wushu Demonstration.

On February 2 at 2pm also at the same venue, Kong Hua School will have its Chinese Culture Presentation.

The Lim Ket Kai Mall, recorded to have many Chinese New Year celebrations through the years, has also not failed this year as they launch new events for the public.

Since January 5 to February 4, the Oro Photographic Society is holding its Chinese photo exhibit where

photos relevant to the Chinese are on display.

On January 31, there will be Food Bazaar from 10am onward, Lion Dance at the mall at 11am, the Chinese Cultural Show by the Oro Christian Grace School and Kong Hua School at 3pm and Feng Shui reading with Mr. Jeff Ventura at 4pm.

Two known hotels are also celebrating for the Chinese New Year.

The newly opened, Limketkai Luxe Hotel has a buffet called The Chinese New Year Golden Abundance Feast at the Ka Ve Restaurant from 11am to 2pm. Buffet fee will be at P888 for the adults, P488 for the children and P188 for children 5 to 11 years old. There will be various delectable dishes to choose from. A Dragon Dance will also be performed at Lim Ket Kai.

Seda Hotel will also give promos and discounts for their Deluxe, Club and Premiere rooms. Every Friday until January 31 from 6pm onwards, a Chinese Buffet Dinner is served at P500 per person.

There will be a Lion Dance on the night of January 31. (Alyssa C. Clenuar, MUST Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 26, 2014.

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