For those who are looking at this blog page for the first time, this ‘hóngbāo’ adventure is a series of posts starting from the beginning of the Chinese New Year up to the Lantern Festival. It covers the traditions and is part of a little quest I’ve set for myself to give a ‘hóngbāo’- red envelope – to someone each day and in return, they share a piece of advice that they love or has inspired them that always comes back to them.
Here is day ten:
There are two traditions linked to the tenth day of the Chinese New Year: it’s the Birthday of the God of Stone and is a day to celebrate the marriage of the mouse (explanation to come..). The day is known as “石不动” (shíbùdòng) which means ‘the stone does not move’. So folklore says that the people are not allowed to move any stone or any product made out of stone such as stone rollers etc. that were used in ancient times. It is said that families burn incense and candles for the stones (no idea why) and offer pancakes to the God of Stone. However these pancakes aren’t like western ones, they are thinner, savoury and are usually cooked with spring onions and a bit of egg.
“In the ancient times, the tenth day of the Chinese New Year is the day to celebrate the marriage of the mouse. According to the legends in the regions south of the Yangtze River, mouse is a harmful and unlucky animal, so people have to get the mouse married off to ensure a peaceful and lucky new year. On this day, families should not open any boxes or cabinets, and will go to bed early, in case that they may disturb the mice. Children will put some candies and peanuts in the corners of the house as the dowry for the mouse. New Year pictures and paper-cutting about the marriage of mice are popular among folk people in China.”
Today I hadn’t planned who I was going to give the red envelope to and was baffled on who to choose because I only had one lecture and intended to stay at home for the rest of the day. As we had a 9am, I arrived early and sat on the sofas near the lecture room, another girl who studies French and Spanish sat opposite me.
After five minutes of small talk, I decided to bite the bullet, as I was quite nervous to ask, and ask her if she’d like to participate by saying (not so eloquently) “to kill the next five minutes, I have this chinese envelope…” and the rest is history. She was quite stumped on advice as she explained that she’s quite a stress-head so normally receives advice off people. So I asked her what is the advice or wisdom that has stuck with her…. & vóila… This is Megan’s advice:
As long as we have our health, nothing else matters.
It is one way of saying: ‘don’t stress over the small things because it isn’t worth the trouble.’
I have to be honest and admit that I don’t know what to write following this because it’s pretty straight forward.
When I asked Danny what I should write he suggested this vlog that my brother and I had watched because this guy, Jake, is quite inspirational. So have a watch if you like:
Hope you enjoy it and I wish you all good health in this Year of the Monkey ❤
Lots of love,