At the stroke of midnight on Monday, February 22nd which is equivalent to the 9th Day of Lunar New Year was Jade Emperor's birthday. It was the day of 'Bai Tian Gong' where many Chinese Taoists, particularly those of Hokkien descent celebrated the occasion with much noise and plenty of offerings. In my area, this is a grand affair with many devotees burning lots of fireworks. It was a lot of fun looking at the sparkling display that lasts more than an hour as one after another family start to pray. Children have fun playing with fireworks while the adults are busy praying. Among the must-haves for the occassion include incense, joss-sticks, joss papers, buns, cakes, nuts, fruits, sugar cane, vegetarian dishes. Some even include a roasted whole pig, chicken, duck and red-dyed eggs. This is a family affair and after prayers, all members will join in to have a feast before they call it a day.
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