Starting this morning, families and business of Chinese heritage undertook a series of traditional rituals that are geared to bring good luck, health and fortune for the year ahead, including ceremonies to pay homage to the Gods including Tudigong/Tudishen, Ti Zhu Ei and Tua Pek Kongwere.
A similar ceremony was then carried out to honour ancestors, although this ritual could not be conducted any later than 12 noon today. A further worship ceremony will be held this afternoon with a final celebration conducted between 11pm this evening and 2:59am tomorrow morning.
Tables were set up outside family homes and businesses where a variety of items were offered for worship to and as thanks to the Gods and where monks passed to bestow blessings of good fortune.
These items included Tao Chi candles, sets of incense sticks and Tua Kim paper money. Additional offerings included five each of cups of tea, cups of rice, cups of sweets and oranges or fruits. Those making the offerings did adorn in new red costumes and while facing in an easterly direction to encourage prosperity. Such ceremonies will continue tomorrow, the official day that marks the start of the Chinese New Year.
The rabbit is the fourth in the twelve-year periodic sequence of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.