Hari Raya Puasa is also commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. In Malay the word Hari Raya means ‘A Day Of Celebration’ and Puasa derives from Sanskrit meaning ‘fasting or abstention’. Hari Raya Puasa means‘great day of fasting’ or in actual sense ‘the festival marking the end of a period of fasting’. Hari Raya Puasa is popularly known as Eid Ul Fitr. Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.
What is the meaning of deepawali ?
by DIVAY B
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Diwali, also called Deepavali, is a major Indian festival that is very significant in Hinduism. Known as the "Festival of Lights," it symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind. Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional dīpa or deeya (earthen lamp, as illustrated). Fireworks are associated with the festival. Diwali is a colloquial name used in North India, while the festival is formally called Deepavali in South India.
The Origins and meaning of Gong Xi Fa Cai.
恭喜发财，万事如意，主里蒙恩！ gong xi fa cai, wan shi ru yi, zhu li meng en!
Sun, 2006-01-29 05:53 — wahlau
By Kan Yaw Chong news on 17th February 2007.
Kota Kinabalu: The chinese don’t say “Happy New Year” to each other. Instead, they say “congratulations” and that’s what “gong xi” essentially means.
Yes, the ubiquitous new year greeting heard in diverse dialects, such as “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (Mandarin) or “Keong Hee Huat Chye” (Hokkien) or “Gung Hei Fat Choi” (Cantonese) or “Kung Hei Fat Choi” (Hakka) isn’t synonymous to “happy new year” in the western sense.
They all mean one thing: “Congratulations and be prosperous”. But what is there to congratulate each other on new year day?
This trading of congratulatory message dates back centuries or even thousands of years. The Chinese New Year is the longest chrono-logical record in history, dating back 2600BC when Emperor Huang Ti introduced in the first cycle of the zodiac (imaginary area showing the positions of the Sun, Moon and Planets).
Certain significant aspects of its origins may have faded along the way. Note also it is a Spring Festival - the grandest festival of the Chinese now celebrated by one in every four persons on earth. Preceding spring in distinctly seasonal China is Winter which could be extremely frigid.
Harsh though it may be, surviving winteris not particularly extra-ordinary. So what grand breakthrough prompted people to congratulate each other for so long? The answer is stranger than fiction.
It has to do with long forgotten legend even most Chinese today are probably not aware if. Even defining words have fundamentally changed. The Spring Festival is also called “Nian” which today means only one
thing - year. But the term “Nian” was once the name of a ferocious, savage, ugly, evil monster, like the dargon or unicorn that reportedly terrorised and preyed on human beings.
Legend had it that this monster regularly came down from the mountain each first and 15th day of the lunar month to hunt people. Terrified people would lock themselves in for days. But one old wise man in the village realized “Nian” was bold only because the people were afraid.
A clever idea struck the ‘wise’ old man.
Why not organise the people to beat drums, gongs and light fireworks to scare off the hated monster?
One moonless freezing cold night, Nian appeared and the moment it opened its mouth, noise and fireworks burst out from the villagers in unison, the frightened monster fled, collapsed from exhaustion and the villagers managed to kill it.
“Nian” finally lost to the cooperated effort and people who “congratulated” each other for the group triumph and celebrated their victory with a “Spring Festival”.
If the legend sounds far fetched, consider the ugly, monstrous-looking unicorn and dragon heads that come out each Chinese New Year these days.
In the 1960’s when firecrackers ere not banned in Sabah, it was a widespread practice to throw fire crackers at every unicorn or lion dance troupe tha came by the house or shop to solicit donation money.
But little did people realise the “unicorn”, the dragon and lion dance were symbolic of monster “Nian”.
The origins of these baffling Chinese New Year traditions suddenly make sense when the legend on “Nian” is told.
But aside from trading congratulatory messages for overcoming the ravaging beast Nian, the fact that it is a Spring festival suggests that surviving the harsh conditions of winter is in itself worth celebrating.
All months begin with a new moon.
Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon but a dark moon (as distinct from cresent moon) after the Winter Solstice (which falls on either Dec. 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere when the sun is furthest from the equatorial plane).
Irrespective of the diverse customs across China because of the great geographic distance, the underlying congratulatory spirit is the same. And the festival last 15 days.\ The 15th Day of New Year is the Festival of Lanterns Day or ‘Yen Siau’ (Chap Goh Meh in Hokkien) when Chinese welcome in the first full moon of the lunar new year.
This is why even the 15th day is celebratory in nature marked by a feast of special good food for dinner and servings of “Tang Yuen” - round rice dumplings symbolic of the full moon, cooked in sweet soup.