Wednesday, August 19, 2009
CHINESE CUSTOMS OF THE ELDERLY BIRTHDAY
For the Chinese, comes at the age of 60, this is the first and probably only time in the persons life that their animal sign and element are together exactly as they were on the day they were born.
It is often the grownup sons and daughters who celebrate their elderly parents' birthdays to show their respect for them and express their thanks for what they have done for their children. According to the traditional customs, the parents are offered foods with happy symbolic implications.
Everyone at the celebration must eat both the long noodles (representing longevity) and a warm pastry with a sweet mixture that looks like a peach. It is considered rude and disrespectful not to. This type of celebration continues every ten years for the rest of the person's live with more family members, being added to the grand celebration each year.
60 years old celebrations --- Towards the end of the dinner, each guest will be given a set of "Shou" Chinese Rice Bowl, Chopstick and Spoon ~~~ a symbolic of auspicious gesture that the birthday persons is giving to the guests in return ample food to be had always with those rice bowl and chopsticks.
70 years old celebrations --- Cups / Mugs set will be given out to the invited guest. Tea is an ancient Chinese drink. Chinese people started drinking tea since long long ago. The beverage is considered one of the seven necessities of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce and vinegar. For a long time, tea was used as an herbal medicine and meditation. A simple meal in Chinese is "Cho Cha Dan Fan", namely coarse tean and tasteless dinner. Even A simple meal is finished off with tea so its importance is obvious.
Tea is compared to personal character. The fragrance of tea is not aggressive; it is pleasant, low-keyed and lasting. A friendship between gentlemen is also like a cup of tea. With a cup of tea in hand, enjoying the green leaves in a while porcelain cup, you will feel peace. Fame, wealth and other earthly concerns are far away. Tea is the symbol of elegance.
Meaning of tea ~~~
1) the importance of family values (families get together on Sunday)
2) the means of apologising to someone, by pouring them tea and thus showing regret.
3) a sign of respect (younger generation will prepare and offer to the older generation)
80 years old celebration --- peaches ~~~ a sign of longevity. The peach tree is a tremendous Chinese symbol for longevity as well as other auspicious attributes. It is said that the Peach plant would only produce the fruit only once every 3,000 years.
In Chinese culture, the peach represents immortality -- were said to be consumed by the immortals due to their mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who ate them.
These are others gifts you can give out as favors too. It's all symbolize longevity.
TORTOISE ~~~ is sacred and much loved by the Chinese as a symbol of longevity, stability, strength, support and endurance. The tortoise is the best icon of longevity. It is believed to live up to 3000 years and therefore is extremely popular with those celebrating their 90th birthday (seek to live a long and healthy life)
WU LOU ~~~ another symbol of longevity, good healty, prosperity and an abundance of blessings. The shape of it is believed to be a representation of Heaven and Earth united in miniature.
The authentic Wu Lou is made of the gourd friut plucked from trees, the flesh inside carefully removed and then dried. In ancient times, the Wu Lou is used to store water or potions used during traveling and expeditions. Because of the Wu Lou's role in keeping the travelers alive, it was given the name the "giver of life" and hence became a symbol of good health. It is also believed to contain the elixir of health, vitality and immortality.
FUK LUK SAU ~~~ three star Deities personify the three important aspirations of mankind : - HAPPINESS, WEALTH AND LONGEVITY.
FUK -- represents happiness and harmony -- carries a scroll and sometimes a children with him for good descendant luck.
LUK -- holds a scepter of office called Ru Yi, or a gold ingot to symbolize prosperity, authority and wealth. Always stands in the center and ensures your career success and enhanced income luck.
SAU -- depicted as carrying a staff and a peach, sometime the gourd containing the Elixir of life is tied on the staff. He symbolizes good health and longevity.
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