Monday, February 11, 2013

Chinese New Year - the Second Day

Today is the Second day of Chinese New Year, a day known as kāinián in Mandarin or hoinin in Cantonese (开年) or translated as "beginning of the year". Just like the Reunion dinner on the eve of New Year, family members also get together on the Second day for a hearty meal to begin the new year. Offerings are also made to deities and ancestors at the home altars in Taoist/Buddhist homes.

In the old days, traditionally, married daughters did not have the opportunity to visit their birth family frequently. So this second day has been designated as a day in which married daughters visit and pay respect to their birth parents. This is still being practised to this day.

Giving of goodluck money in a red envelope or hongbao is an activity practised during Chinese New Year and other special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. In Chinese tradition, hongbao is given out by married elders to unmarried persons including children and adults who are still single.

Married daughters going back to visit their parents will have to give hongbao to their nieces, nephews, unmarried brothers and sisters. This goodluck money is a form of pocket money the recipient can spend on whatever he wishes.

While the First day of the lunar year is believed to be the birthday of chickens, the Second day is the birthday of dogs.


  1. Hi HappySurfer sudah huat tou hm cheng hm chor? Huat Aaarrr ulala huh!. Was just thinking to post something similar lucky slipped by here. Those days before blogging not bothered much with tradition but now different learning day by day.

  2. When as a little kid before CNY mama would hand over a big paper bag with all the goodies and asked Bananaz to deliver to my godparents few days before CNY and then my godparents would asked me to wait and bring almost half of them back. Just wondering what are the adults doing take here and take there playing masak masak might as well no need to give wasting time only haha. Those days not aware of Chinese tradition its 'soong nin' and on the actual CNY1 its 'bai nin' and like you posted its 'hoi nin' on the 2nd day. Way to go..tQ

  3. Never a practice now for modern families to stick a red 'sticker' on the nin gao or kueh kaput or any other cookies containers. Those days need some special skills with scissors to cut nice design and stick on using starch. Nowadays hardly see those red stickers anymore or rather never see any nin gao as CNY gifts haha.