blues..

blues..
::every cloud has a silver lining:: @ ::天無絕人之路 ~:~ 明天會更好:: @ ::tiān wú jué rén zhīlù ~:~ míngtiān huì gènghǎo:: @ ::天無絕人之路 ~:~ 明天會更好:: @ ::tiān wú jué rén zhīlù ~:~ míngtiān huì gènghǎo:: @ ::every cloud has a silver lining::

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Feb 20, 2010

ക RÉNRI ( 人日 ) ~ Human Day, 7th Day of CNY

gongxifacai

Happy Birthday Everybody..

Renrì (Chinese:人日, literally Human Day) falls on the 7th day of zhengyue 正月 aka Chinese New Year, the first month in the Chinese calendar). According to legend, the custom dates back to the Han Dynasty, and gained importance after The Three Kingdoms period and Jin Dynasty. Hence, Chinese tradition set the first day of zhengyue as the "birthday" of chicken, the second day of zhengyue as the birthday of dog, etc. And the seventh day of zhengyue is viewed as the common "birthday" of all human beings.

On this special "birthday" Yúshēng is often served as part of a multi-dish dinner, usually as the appetizer due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year. Some would consume it on Renri day itself, although in practice it may be eaten on any convenient day. Yúshēng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish(鱼)"{yú} is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance(余)" {yú}, just as "raw(生)" {shēng} with "increase(升)" {shēng}. So Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yúshēng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor. Yúshēng is often served as part of a multi-dish dinner, usually as the appetizer due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year. Some would consume it on Renri, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, although in practice it may be eaten on any convenient day.  The contemporary version of 鱼生 {yúshēng} raw fish is created and popularised in both Malaysia and Singapore in the early 60's amongst the ethnic Chinese community. Surprisingly it is not popular in Taiwan & Hong Kong for them to "lo hei" Cantonese for 撈起 or Yee Sang. [Wikipedia]
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Make a wish while tossing the 'raw fish' 鱼生 {yúshēng} in the air with chopsticks while saying "auspicious wishes" (吉祥话 or Jíxiáng Huà) such as Nian Nian You Yu (年年有余) as the word Yu (余), which means "surplus" or "abundance", sounds the same as the Chinese word for fish (yu, 鱼). The Secret to opening new doors of prosperity to attracting more in your life is in the height. It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the dinner's growth in fortunes, thus diners are expected to toss enthusiastically. Check it out on Foongpc for Yúshēng served in nice lacquer dish and Iamthewitch cute tigers cup cakes guarding the Yúshēng. The long 1 hour 40 mins wait for the next dish after Yúshēng was tossed for Merryn and the latest from Wenn.

Image courtesy of millionface.com

On the same  token of RÉN 人 the above picture is the RÉN building created specifically for Shanghai's World Expo 2010. A very meaningful concept of a man walking with one foot on water which is the first building and the other foot on land represented by second building forming a Chinese character for the word 人 (”Ren”) People. The building becomes a recognizable landmark for the World Expo in China. 


Disclaimer: In this entry some could be facts or probably legend. Being a Bananaz all my references are from hearsay and internet search. You must be wondering what's this nice *ahem* Bananaz doing in a blog like this who does not read and write Chinese?

Answer: Simply becoz this Bananaz is finding its roots deeper and hopefully to be able to share with fellow Bananaz or those who are interested to know more about Chinese traditions and customs. Also would sincerely appreciate any feedback or any corrections for errors made. tQ

68 Bunchesஇ:

Merryn said...

Happy Birthday to everyone today :D

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Just tossed the raw fish this evening at a family dinner. So, fingers crossed, we hope our wishes will come true:)

Bananazക said...

Merryn ക Happy Birthday to you & family tQ

Keats The Sunshine Girl ക "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve" ~ Napoleon Hill. May your wishes come true. tQ

Gratitude said...

A very different post from you indeed! hehe

Happy Birthday! ^_^
+Ant+

Bananazക said...

Gratitude ക Happy birthday to you too. tQ

Merryn said...

Yeah lor, forget to comment bout that raw fish toss and the next meal that came after...

That 1 hour 40 minutes was 'hell' for me as I was darn bored. You know why? I don't speak the language that my in-laws speak. I don't speak chinese and they don't speak english. So how? I ended playing with my fon and my camera! Next year.. I'll get them a box of instant noodles :D

CH Voon said...

haiya... happy belated birthday to you too.

the building look great... i hope onee day i will be there too.

i like eat Yee sang very much but so far i have try it this cny hehehe

Bengbeng said...

Happy Birthday! ^_^
+Bengbeng+


couldnt resist copying Anton's style hehe

Ai Shiang said...

Actually, I never toss a Yusheng all my life. My family never has this tradition somehow. Maybe because they are originated from Indonesia.

When I first saw people tossing Yusheng, I was astonished of what were they doing hahaha! Funny isn't it?

Thanks for explaining what does each word mean. Although when people say 年年有余, I always think what if that "something" isn't what a person wanted to be 有余. Do you get what I mean? It's like be careful what you wish for.

Cheryl said...

Very interesting!

foongpc said...

Oh, thanks for the history and "hearsay" for Ren Ri 人日 and yu sheng 余升! Learnt something new today!

Yeah, during the tossing of yu sheng, I try to toss it as high as possible, haha!!

foongpc said...

Thanks for the link! : )

Haha, I read about that post by witch and also the long long wait for next dish by merryn! : )

foongpc said...

I love that ren 人 building! Beautiful and meaningful too!

Cloudia said...

Gung Hee Fat Choy!!!!!!


Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

Pete said...

Happy Birthday to all humans....

Bananazക said...

Merryn ക You're worst than banana must be egg or what? Not a Chinese or Bangladeshi?:p Should learn in-laws language by now they say marry chicken act like chicken marry tiger act like tiger mah. haha tQ

CH Voon ക thanks you brought rain to KL. Chinese saying 貴人 guìrén like you when travel bring along wind and rain & bringing temperature down a few degrees. tQ

Bengbeng ക happy birthday, btw who is Anton? hehe. tQ

Ai Shiang ക So you Indonesia mali. Must try tossing Yusheng one day and while tossing say with strong positive affirmation and must be careful & precise what we wishes for. Not too sure what that "something" you refers to and under any circumstances things that we do not desire should not be said or thought about while tossing, its the law of attraction. tQ

Cheryl ക thanks for dropping by and hope you get to know a fair bit of Chinese tradition. tQ

foongpc ക thanks for your kind words. Am getting the hang of blogging and learning new things all the time. Yeah amazing Ren building. tQ

Cloudia ക thanks & best wishes to you too. Aloha tQ

Bananazക said...

pete ക Happy birthday & GongXiFaCai. tQ

molly said...

I am starting to like YuSang and this year I had twice. One with my family and one with my friends who bought a box of YuSang for about RM150.00 from a hotel. It came so little so we have to add in lots of fruits to make the portion enough for everybody. Haha It was such a happy occassion!

Bananazക said...

molly ക guess hotel would be more expensive and "kah liew" some more haha. Glad you all had a great time together. tQ

cleffairy said...

Woiks... Merryn, u sama like me la. I dun speak my MIL's language, and she dun speak my language! To make it worst, she's fucking traditional, demands ppl's respect, and many more lah...at least, you dun have to endure a lot of days wif ur outlaws. LOL...I had to... *sobs*

jingle said...

Informative,
I barely study or try to know the details or origins of Chinese New Year, but it is delightful to read your post.

cool writing.
Happy Chinese New Year!

Ai Shiang said...

Oh I see, that's how you do it. :o)

Well, I am for sure was born in Malaysia (Sarawak). My mom and grandpa & grandma came from Kalimantan when my mom was about 9 or so. It was the time when the local/malay there killed all Chinese. Scary stories.

I didn't have a chance to ask my grandparents. I think one of them were from China. Even we speak read and write Chinese, we never toss a yusheng before. Weird. But will do that if there is a chance :o)

QuaChee said...

hey bananaz
nice to read yr entry on this. ive read too that yee sang is a malaysia - singapore thing :)

btw maybe u can write an entry about the 9th day of cny too?

Shingo T said...

Bananaz knows alot, for a banana.

I'm born in Malaysia, lived a whole lot of my life in Singapore, but nothing beats coming back to Malaysia for a REAL Chinese New Year. Love the festive spirit back in Malaysia, and the fireworks too.

Happy Chinese New Year, Bananaz. ^_^

manglish said...

bravo bravo to be searching for your root deeper, but i have a feeling that it is oredi in between your legs HAHHAHAAHAHAHAHA

Meichun Jones (Jeannie) said...

Awesome photos!!

[SK] said...

but i think now "lou sang" has been too common already, you can have it not only on ren ri but even a month before CNY!! i've lou-ed 3 times already as at now, and going to have another 3 more i guess~~ #_#

Mei Teng said...

Wasn't aware of the significance of consuming yee sang on the 7th day of CNY celebrations. Have always thought yee sang is consumed throughout the duration of the celebration.

I only had yee sang on the eve of CNY and that is enuff for me. Not a big fan of yee sang.

kenwooi said...

a banana like me reads and just accept the fact written, i dont even know if any is wrong.. =P

kenwooi.com

iamthewitch said...

Ah nice piece! I heard about renri from my mom recently and now you're writing about it! Happy birthday to you and to me! LOL :)

Bananazക said...

cleffairy ക 家家有本難念的經 {jiājiā yǒu běn nán niàn de jīng} [Every family would have their very own difficult mantra or scripture to recite] This is a very common Chinese saying that each family would sure to have own their set of problem and just try to be tolerant. Accept it.. take care. tQ

jingle ക cool..tQ

Ai Shiang ക not too sure maybe Yusheng is not popular in Kuching. Should try it for the fun. tQ

QuaChee ക thanks for dropping by and for confirming about Msia & Spore. Sorry think would pass blogging about 9th day due to time constraint. tQ

Shingo T ക Malaysia got their ways of getting around with the fire cracker though sometimes its irritating. Dogs got scared hiding under couch and babies are frightened. Happy CNY. tQ

Bananazക said...

manglish ക legs? only trunk and banana leaves..hahahah tQ

Jeannie laoshi ക happy CNY. tQ

[SK] ക yeah lou-sang is too commonly served & you had 6 times phew.

Mei Teng ക Believed it started with fishermen along the coast of Guangzhou traditionally celebrated Renri, the seventh day of the CNY, by feasting on their catches. Once is enough and [SK] gonna have 6 haha. tQ

kenwooi ക hopefully the blind does not lead the blind haha. tQ

iamthewitch ക thanks for your posting of the Yusheng nice photos and demo by the Chef. Happy belated 'birthday' haha. tQ

HappySurfer said...

Cool Ren building. Thanks for sharing, Bananaz.

Bananazക said...

HappySurfer ക most welcome. Cool REN. tQ

Superman said...

Happy CNY. Thanks for the history of 7th day of CNY.

wenn said...

love yee sang!

FaYe said...

hi!
PLS Visit my blog and grab ur award. have a nice day!

Xiao Yen Recipes said...

You posted some very interesting knowledge about Chinese traditions. I know many people do the yusheng for New Year. It's a popular tradition in Asian countries but not in west. I think it's because restaurants don't offer this dish in the west. I have not come across or know of one restaurant in my city that offers this dish although I wish they will create this dish in the future.

Bananazക said...

Superman ക you're most welcome, my pleasure.tQ

wenn ക you love eating or tossing or both haha. Like your posting about 'pai ti kong'. tQ

FaYe ക thanks so much.

Xiao Yen Recipes ക thanks for dropping by. Maybe its time you start one in SFO next year with your own 'creation' just like how those "opportunists" started in the 60s and its so commercialised now. I feel it is over priced for this dish which cost about RM40-RM60 (U$15). Good luck. tQ

Bengbeng said...

anton = gratitude on this post's comments :)

Bananazക said...

Bengbeng ക OIC tQ.

ARUNA said...

Very different post.....liked ur blog!

Bananazക said...

ARUNA ക Thanks for dropping by and your kind words. tQ

CH Voon said...

hahhaha i am not 貴人 as you say... i am normal human being :P

now, i am damn sick... hehehee

Bananazക said...

CH Voon ക you take care, weather taking a change HOT then suddenly rain and with all the CNY food makes lots of people sick. Hope you are getting better now. Drink more water to cool down. tQ

ladyviral said...

and everyone is another year older on this day! GASPS!

Tekkaus said...

Here am I wishing Happy belated BD to everyone. :D

Bananazക said...

ladyviral ക thanks for dropping by yeah another 'year' wiser. haha tQ

Tekkaus ക thanks for dropping by and peeling this blog. Happy belated BD. tQ

jam said...

We do not have the tradition to 'lou sang' over here.

Merryn said...

Bananaz - I marry Tiger I act Tiger - Hari Hari Mau! Lol..
I'm not bangladeshi lah! I'm Nyonya.. If I wanna learn Chinese oso I'll learn Mandarin or Canto lah.. they speak Hokkien.. I tak minat :P I'm a daughter-in-law from hell!

Autumn Belle said...

Before this practise of tossing rainbow yee sang, on peoples' birthday, our yee sang is actually snake head 生鱼 fish porridge. Snake head fish signifies life 生 and fish 鱼 signifies abundance while porridge in cantonese sounds like 'enough'. Raw fish slices are cooked in the porridge. We will also add spring onions, lettuce, coriander and fried glass noodle (fan shue) as garnishing. All signifies life (sang sang mang mang). This is true meaning of yee sang the traditional way on People's Day.

Autumn Belle said...

BTW, the 'low hei' thing is most probably conceived by the Malaysian businessmen. That's why you can 'low hei' and toss yee sang from New Year eve to Chap Goh Mei. They tell you that it is very auspicious if you can 'low' from this year right up to the next. 'Low' in cantonese means ability to earn money. Somehow, low hei and yee sang got intertwined.

Rose Belle said...

Some Chinese words are very revered because their phonetics sound like the good things in life like wealth and abundance. A Burmese friend of mine says that "8" in Burmese is pronounced "shi" which she says sounds like "shit" in Enlgish and "death" in Chinese. So yea, 8 for her is nothing auspicious and thinks we're just too superstitious.

Bananazക said...

jam ക yeah those business man are opportunists taking the chance to capitalise and created the 'lou sang' concept to make fast bucks.tQ

Merry ക hi little Nyonya. tQ

Autumn Belle ക very interesting thanks for the the info of the origin. Yeah the snake head fish is 'sang' fish. Those days for Yusheng they used snake head fish but nowadays replaced by salmon. In actual fact snake head fish is more appropriate. Since before CNY until Chap Goh meh restaurant/hotel owners would be laughing ear to ear to the banks imagine the number of Yusheng served for that one month alone? The cost is so low and for a plate of Yusheng varies from RM40-RM150. tQ

Rose Belle ക people like to hear what they want to hear..this is life. So Burmese may not like '8' just like '4' which sounds like 'die' most Chinese (I'm ok with it coz I'm sure to die one day) don't like but the Malays love it. tQ

Merryn said...

Yup. I don't speak any Chinese dialect at all. Only English and BM :(

jingle said...

Have A Satisfying Saturday!
Best!

Bananazക said...

Merryn ക same like my classmate who speaks English & BM only. Wish you good luck to pick other dialect fast at least Cantonese..tQ

jingle ക have a great weekend too. tQ

CH Voon said...

hello happy belated chay go mei!

William Manson © 2010 said...

hi friend, loved this post, superb, thanks very much for the kind message re my birthday it made my day :)

Bananazക said...

CH Voon ക Same to you collect lots of oranges? haha. tQ

William Manson © 2010 ക you are most welcome. tQ

CH Voon said...

you want my wife tarik my ears ke? still go to collect oranges meh?

later tonight i sleep at dining room!

Jingle said...

that "people" photo is cool,
I admire that u always have the patience and willingness to dig out the most magical or amazing stuff in Chinese culture to share.
Enjoy your pride!
Best wishes in March of 2010!

Bananazക said...

Jingle ക thanks for your encouraging and kind words, more than often its inspiration that drives me forward. tQ

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