History of cheh kau

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.

History of cheh kau

Postby kim ang » Thu Aug 14, 2003 7:42 pm

Hokkiens in Malaysia celebrate cheh kau. Some chinese school even has holiday for this special occasion. For the older generation, the 9th day of chinese new year is even more grand and more important than the 1st day of chinese new year. I heard that teochews and hockchew also celebrate it.

My teacher told me that in the olden days the hokkiens are attacked by enemy. Hokkiens then retreat to the bamboo jungle. The hokkiens didn’t celebrate chinese new year until the 9th day and there’s where the festival of cheh kau comes from. I just want to know the detailed information during that time.

What year did this war happened?
Who are the so called enemy?
Why hokkiens pray to ‘ti kong’ during cheh kau?

kim ang

Re: History of cheh kau

Postby Ehlam Chua » Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:29 pm

What does this world "cheh kau" refer to ??
Ehlam Chua
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Re: History of cheh kau

Postby Niuc » Fri Aug 15, 2003 5:10 pm

"Chue1 kau2" (chhoe1 kau2) 初九, the ninth day of Chinese New Year, is celebrated as "thi*1 kong1 si*1" 天公生 (Heavenly Jade Emperor Birthday) by Hokkiens [Taoist/Confucianist/Buddhist]. In Ciangciu accent, including Penang, it's pronounced as 'che1 kau2'.

It's true that for some, 'chue1 kau2' is grander than 'chue1 it4' (first day). I think that actually it was originally a kind of thanksgiving, later it became a Taoist festival. From what I know, Teochew & Hokchew people do not celebrate it.

This is a brief yet informative article http://www.asiawind.com/forums/read.php ... 894&t=1894
Author: CHUNG Yoon-Ngan
Date: 01-29-03 17:49

Bai Tian Gong (拜天公)

On the ninth day of the New Year it is the Hokkien (Fujianese) custom to
"Bai Tian Gong 拜天公 " or pray to the Heavenly God. On this day businessmen
pray to Tian Gong (Heavenly God) and wish that their businesses will "Lai Nian
Sheng Yi Xing Long, Qian Cai Yuan Gun Gun Lai 來年生意興隆, 錢財源滾滾來 "
or be prosperous and so that money and wealth will rush in in this coming year.

They offer the Tian Gong sugar canes, roast pigs and fruit but no cooked ducks
or chickens. It is believed that during the 13th century, when the Mongolians conquered Fujian 福建 province, many Fujianese hid themselves in the sugar
cane groves. For many days they stayed in the groves without food, chewing
sugar canes to survive. After the hordes of Mongols left they returned to their homes. They were grateful to the sugar canes for saving their lives. It was the
ninth day of the New Year and from then on, the Fujianese (Hokkien) have used sugar canes to pray to the Heavenly God on the ninth day of the New Year.

CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
All rights reserved 2003


Article quoted above mentions that no cooked ducks or chickens offered, but in our hometown the offering includes two tall sugar canes with leaves, "mi7 sua*3" 麵線, pork, duck, chicken, fish, fruits and "huat4 ker2", etc. Sugar canes signify the historical event. "mi7 sua*3" 麵線 (Chinese vermicelli) is eaten on birthday since it's very long, to signify long life. 發粿 "huat4 ker2/ke2/kue2" (also called 麵粿 "mi7 ker2") signifies progress & prosperity and virtually used in every festival.

There was discussion about this festival in another forum http://chinese.cari.com.my/forum/forumd ... php?fid=37 but I couldn't find the posting.


Re: History of cheh kau

Postby kaiah » Sat Aug 16, 2003 3:55 pm

Niuc wrote:
> There was discussion about this festival in another forum
> http://chinese.cari.com.my/forum/forumd ... php?fid=37 but
> I couldn't find the posting.

http://chinese.cari.com.my/forum/viewth ... d=VK44mDaC

Re: History of cheh kau

Postby Niuc » Sun Aug 17, 2003 3:36 pm

Thank you, Kaiah. :-)


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