Saturday, February 08, 2014

Intricate Chinese Customs - PhotoHunt

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beautiful Chinese opera actresses in intricately embroidered costumes

PhotoHunt theme : Intricate/Water

On Chinese New Year eve, I accompanied my husband to offer prayers in a popular temple.

While my husband was praying, I took a walk around the crowded temple. I noticed they have brought in The Matchmaker (月下老人) who is the deity of Marriage and Love in Chinese mythology that originated in Tang Dynasty.

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In his hands is a book on which the marriage of all people are recorded. He also holds a red string which he will tie around a man and a woman, and the two will become a couple even if they were once enemies. :)

I was surprised to see more elderly people praying to The Matchmaker. The following day when my husband told me he too prayed to The Matchmaker, I was not amused. Did he ask for a concubine or a new wife? *fumes*

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The temple has invited a famous opera troupe from Taiwan to perform for their devotees. The cast made an appearance dressed in elaborate headwear, makeup and embroidered costumes. Seizing the opportunity to take some close up pictures of these beautiful people, I chased them all over the temple grounds as they distributed candies to visitors.  :D

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The temple was getting too smoky as more devotees arrived to perform the annual "Welcome the God of Fortune" rites. Stepping outside the temple for some fresh air, I was delighted to see hawkers selling beverages and snacks. This particular drink stall caught my eye, the sign reads "Bird's Nest water".

I joined the queue to purchase a cup of the drink. It was actually diced seaweed in syrup. LOL...

Note : Edible bird's nest, a delicacy made from the salivary excretions of the swiftlet, can cost up to USD2500 a kilo and are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. 


42 comments:

  1. Diced seaweed in syrup? Doesn't matter if its bird's nest la, as long as it tastes good, it doesn't really matter! Any male costumes? But i'm too fat for them anyway :/

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    1. Yes, I was too thirsty so it was a great thirst-quencher. Ha. Yes, there are male costumes as well and they might look too baggy on your slim frame. *cough cough* :P

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  2. the Chinese culture is fascinating.

    frankly my dear

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    1. Yes. it is and even though I am a Chinese, I am constantly discovering new things about my culture. :)

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  3. Wonderful fabrics for intricate and a good post.

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    1. It's Chinese silk and the traditional motifs are intricate in details. :)

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  4. Beautiful! And how did the bird's nest taste? Sounds kinda grim lol!

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    1. The bird's nest has a unique gelatinous texture that is actually tasteless and flavourless. I serve it in soup or as a sweet drink.

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  5. hahaha, maybe the elderly prayed to the Matchmaker Deity on behalf of their children or even grandchildren?? wishing that they can get in-laws soon and after that going to have more grandchildren and great grandchildren to play with?? haha~~ :p

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    1. Yes, that's what the caretaker of the temple said. The singles would come in the wee hours of the morning to offer prayers as they don't want to be seen praying to The Matchmaker deity. :P

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  6. Happy Chinese New Year of the Horse! Figure I can continue wishing you that until the 12th day... ;b

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    1. Why only the 12th day? The 15th of the Lunar New Year is the last day.

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  7. I am curious about this "Birds' nest water". :)
    Nice pics. of intricate designs.

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    1. The one I had was just gelatine with syrup water. The real bird's nest is edible and is very expensive.

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  8. Hi EC, beautiful costumes. Very interesting to read about the matchmaker. Happy Chinese New Years to you and your family.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  9. It sounds very fun. The place is gorgeous and interesting for us.

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    1. You would enjoy the festivities extend over a period of two weeks. :)

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  10. prayer to the matchmaker is very interesting, very festive colors, belated happy cny.

    ps...glad to be back here, after a very long time since EC

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  11. Hi Betchai, glad to see you again. thanks for your new year wishes. :)

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  12. What beautiful costumes and everything so colorful !

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  13. Wow...not only gorgeous colors, but such intricate work in the colorful wardrobes. I'm lovin' this. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy New Year...belated...but still from the heart.

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  14. Beautiful intricate photos indeed. I love the way ancient customs are preserved.

    Have a super weekend.

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  15. What a fascinating post - I loved reading it and seeing these cool photos. Happy weekend!

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  16. Have not seen any of the The Matchmaker (月下老人) temple/shrine in Malaysia as yet but saw it for the very first time in Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan.

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  17. Always has been fascinated by the chinese wayang. :)

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  18. Great post. Very interesting. I remember seeing the edible birds nests on some food/travel show. Have you ever eaten the actual bird's nest soup? How is it?

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  19. Good grief, I assume your husband was just teasing you! I am late, but still wish you all possible happiness in the New Year. I love the colorful pictures; thank you for sharing.

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  20. I real like doing photo hunt but I thought i would be back. I even got a card/reader. If I use firefox I'm having issue. If I use chome it seem to go. I won't go into...to complicated...Any how I was born under the sign of the rat...coffee is on

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  21. Fascinating post. I'll have to check that book to see if my wife and I are in it. So how did your husband answer your questions (just kidding, none of my business!).

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  22. LOL! Why did your husband prayed to the Matchmaker?

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  23. What a fun post...I know it is still Chinese New Year for a few more days so may the new year bring you much joy and happiness.

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my cupcakes.

    Toodles,
    Tammy<3

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  24. Impressive celebration over there,

    LOL at Bird nest water.

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  25. How fabulous! I love the colour and spectacle...:)

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  26. What a interesting event. The rituals realy are interesting. Your beverage has me wondering what itis about bird saliva made it magical.

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  27. LOL @ you fuming cause hubby was praying to the Matchmaker ha ha, so cute! ;)

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  28. I hope you had a wonderful CNY holiday with your family and loved ones. Did u give out a lot of ang pows? :)

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