I woke up pretty early today, at 6a.m. As soon as I woke up I had to get ready quickly as I need to make a trip to the cemetery to participate in the 3rd Zhong Yang Festival or 重阳节 in Mandarin! Before I go any further, do you have any idea what is this Zhong yang Festival? Nope...I didn't either until this morning. How ignorant aye! Zhong Yang Festival (重阳节) is traditionally celebrated every year on the 9th Day of the 9th Lunar Month. This unique, unheard festival has been celebrated in China since ages ago. But in Malaysia or more specifically in Malacca,this is only the 3rd time we celebrate it.
Where we gathered.
So why do we celebrate Zhong Yang Festival? This day is dedicated to our forefathers who had sacrificed a lot to see us, their future generation prosper. Today, is the day we will commemorate their dedication and contributions. We will pay respect to them and never forget what they had gone through in order to let us have a better life right now. Our living parents and grandparents will also be "celebrated" today for their love and undivided devotion to bring us up. To cut long story short, today is the day we cherish and treasure our parents and old folks. :)
When I reached my destination, Xin An Association (兴安会馆), it was already 7a.m. Hundreds of participants, clad in red clothes and tops could be seen there. A "sea" of red people! I parked my Black Horsy and immediately joined my other colleagues. After a few moments, thousands of us embarked on our journey. We were heading to the top of San Bao Shan (三宝山) or The Tree Treasured Mountain. Police helped us to control the traffic while we paced ourselves to the top.
We are going UP!
Witness our journey to the TOP!
We took at least half an hour to conquer the summit. We actually had to walk through a cemetery in order to get to to the top. San Bao Shan is actually a collection of 3 mountains and it is "home" to hundreds of tombs dating from as few hundred years ago. Some of the graves are so old that you can hardly recognize it as they are no carvings or whatsoever on it. While climbing up the hill, we enjoyed the scenery very much. It is so serene and calm as if it is a sanctuary.
When we had reached the summit there were already a lot of people there. I could see RED everywhere I turned. You must be wondering why all of us are so red right? Red is actually the theme colour for Zhong Yang Festival. Why red? It is because we Chinese believe that red symbolizes love, prosperity and passion! That's why.
Our messages to our ancestors.
There were so many activities held. We had the "balloon releasing" ceremony. I am not sure why but I guess it is like sending messages to our ancestors in heaven? Again red colour is picked and most of the balloons are red.
Welcome to the top!
I also chanced upon an interesting event-tea drinking. Surprised, I wondered why there are tea drinking session on top of the hill surrounded by tombs. It was an exhibition. They looked so archaic. I was amazed to witness how they brewed the chinese tea. Awesome! Besides they also played some traditional music instrument. :)
Isn't this wonderful? I love it.
However our main event for today was actually the praying session. Before that there was speech and singing. Then all of us will line us and offer our prayers and respect to our elders.
Before the praying ceremony.
Then praying ceremony was kicked off with our all-time favourite lion dance. It was so grand! There were a few "lions" dancing gracefully complementing each other. It was an epic when one of the "lions" climbed onto a pole and strut its stuff!
Are you ready "lions"?
This is it.
Although some might find this festival a little boring, me, myself thought that it was a very meaningful one. It is yet another reminder for us to love and cherish our parents more. Have a nice day folks. :)
Anyway here are more photos for your viewing pleasure! :)