Essay: Belief behind Festivals

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  • Subject area(s): Philosophy essays
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  • Published on: January 12, 2020
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  • Belief behind Festivals
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FESTIVAL

In Malaysia, the main festival that Chinese culture celebrates is Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. Chinese New Year is the best festival for Chinese culture, because it is a new year for them and it is a great opportunity for families gathering and enjoys the reunion dinner. Chinese culture will pray to their god during Chinese New Year to hope they get good luck and protected by god. Besides that, most of the people will choose to wear red colour clothes on the first day of Chinese New Year. They believe that the red colour will bring luck to them.

Moreover, there is also a belief behind the festival that why people should decorate their house with red colour and prepare firecrackers every year. According to the mythology, there was a beast came to the village and eat the children and villagers on the first day of Chinese New Year. The beast was named Nian. Then, the villagers believe that if they prepare some food for Nian, then the beast will not continue to eat villagers. So they started an idea which they will prepare some foods for the beast every first day of the year. But one day, a god told villagers that Nian was afraid of red colour and told them to put the red paper and firecrackers on their house. Lastly, Nian was frightened away by the firecrackers during Chinese New year and Nian never came back again. Hence, this is the reasons why people used firecrackers to celebrate Chinese New Year and also believe red colour brings them luck.

Furthermore, the other main festival celebrate by Chinese culture is Mid-Autumn Festival. It is falls on the 15th of August in Lunar calendar every year; the moon appears in the brightest and roundest condition at that night. In Chinese, Mid-Autumn Festival is also the meaning of round moon and people reunite. The bright round moon represents family reunion.

Besides that, there is a myth which lead everyone belief to celebrate this Mid-Autumn Festival. According to the myth, there was ten suns rose together in one day. However, it causes terrible disaster to human, so in order to save the humans there must be a hero. There was a hero name Hou Yi , he is a powerful archery and he has a wife name Chang Er. Then, Hou Yi was rewarded an immortality drug by god because he has successfully shot and destroy the other 9 suns. Unfortunately Hou Yi did not want to live immortal without Chang Er, so didn’t eat the immortality drug and he ask his wife to keep it. One day, Hou Yi’s apprentices name as Peng Meng knew the immortality drugs was kept in the house. Therefore, he went to Hou Yi’s house to steal it and unfortunately Chang Er reject to give him and she swallowed it and she flew to the sky. She have no choice to stay with her husband, but she choose to live in the moon, because it is the nearest to his husband in earth. After that, Hou Yi very sad and he displayed the fruits and cakes every year to give sacrifice Chang Er. Thus, people learned it and displayed all fruits and moon cakes during 15th of 8th lunar month. (Marry Bai, 2012)

In addition, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is one of the most important festivals that Malay Culture celebrates. It is known as mark the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting. The festival is falls after the end of month-long fast (Puasa) finished which is the 1st day in 10th month of Syawal. They believe that it is a day for Muslim to seek the forgiveness from their friends and families member. For example, a son will ask for forgiveness from their parents for the mistakes that they have done the last year. Besides that, they will prays at the mosque and visit the ancestor’s graves. (National Library Board Singapore, 2009)

Additionally, the second important festivals celebrate by Malay ethnic is Hari Raya Haji. They believe that it is an important day for Muslims to commemorate Ibrahim for following Allah’s command to sacrifice Ishmael (Ibrahim’s son). It is known as the Festival of Sacrifice, all Muslims observed the process. Allah stopped Ibrahim when he was about to sacrifice his son, and Allah told him that it was just a test to know whether Ibrahim can follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son. Therefore, all Muslims will sacrifice animals with four-legged during Hari Raya Haji. They usually kill goats, cows or lamb in this sacrifice event. Then, the meat will be distributed to 3 parts which are for family, relatives or friends and last will be distributed to poor people. However, they believe that Ibrahim and his son Ishmael were guided by Allah to build ‘Kaaba’ the square tone building in a place name Mecca. Thus, that is the direction that all Muslims prayers pray towards all over the world. (Nurul Azliah Aripin, 2015)

VALUE & BELIEF

A value is the belief that people think it is preferable. It is something that people taught us and we believe it and follow the tradition set by ancestor. So, these cultures have been taught from one generation to next the generation until today. Besides that, different culture has their own values and basic belief.

In Malaysia, Chinese ethnic and Malay ethnic learn their value and belief of own culture. This is known as Enculturation and of course different culture has different belief. For Malay culture, they are known as Muslim prayers. All of the Muslim prayers pray to their god – Allah. For Muslim prayers, they strongly believe Allah is the universe creditor. Allah is also the meaning of God in the Arab language and they only believe Allah is the only God in Islam. Besides that, Muslim prayers used to pray to Allah 5 times a day is because they believe they can get some benefits by doing so. Muslim prayers can pray anywhere, but it will be better if there is a Mosque for them. For example, Muslim prayers will gather in Mosque every Friday and pray the Al-Quran. (BBC, 2014)

Moreover, Malay Muslim culture believes that they couldn’t eat pork meat because it is forbidden. All of the Muslim believes they only can consume the food that is ‘Halal’, so the Muslim are not allow drinking alcohol because it is forbidden. (Zaufishan, 2011)

Next, most of the Chinese Malaysian identifies themselves as Buddhists. Buddhists use to pray to god and ancestor. Most Buddhists will pray to GuanYin, GuanYin is also known as Guanyin Bodhisattva or GuanShiYin which is the meaning of “Observing the Sounds or Cries of the World”. Most of the Buddhists believe that when someone is dead and leaving human being’s world, GuanYin will placed them in the heart of a lotus then they will be sent to the western pure land. Moreover, Buddhists also pray to their dead ancestor. They believe that it is a way to pay respect to their dead ancestor and hoping their dead ancestor could protect them or bring luck to them. All of the Chinese Buddhists prayers use joystick and candle to pray the god GuanYin and their respect dead ancestors. (Mary Bai, 2013)

During Chinese New Year, Chinese are not allowed to sweep the floor. It is because they trust that it will bring bad luck to them if they sweep floor, so they usually sweep floor before Chinese New Year and they believe this can bring luck to them. During Chinese New Year, people must say “Gong Xi Fa Cai” before they get the red envelopment (angpau), it is because the word “Fa Cai” is to wish them a good luck and become rich.

Besides that, Chinese culture also believes that the ghost spirit and deceased ancestor will be release from underworld during Hungry Ghost Festival. Thus, they will prepare foods, burning paper material for the deceased ancestor.

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