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Chinese residents in Myanmar preparing spring festival celebrations
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12:44, February 06, 2008

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Housewives of resident Chinese families were waiting for the delivery of home-made Chinese traditional cake made of glutinous rice flour to be bought back home along with various other items of new year special purchase to prepare for family reunification ahead of the "Rat" year.

This was a scene on a historically famous street block, the Mahabandoola Street, at the heart of the Chinatown in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon Wednesday morning, the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The round-the-clock Chinatown new year open air market, which is temporarily set up, was traditionally extended from the roadside to occupy half of the main traffic road especially at this time to accommodate new year purchase.

Crowded with a wave of customers, the market was filled with countless items of new year special purchase goods mostly imported through the 105th Mile Muse Trade Zone on Myanmar-China border. These items cover red lanterns in various sizes, replicas of firecracker, golden blocks and coins, paintings featuring the spring festival including antithetical couplets, sweets and biscuits, meat and vegetable, and other decoration materials for the festival.

In fact, Chinese residents in Yangon started the preparatory activities for the spring festival days ago.

In the afternoon on the eve day, families of Chinese residents, inherited with Chinese traditions and customs, used to prepare their meal in the nicest form all year round which is rich with meat, especially pork, chicken and duck, wine and beverages, and had their lunch deliciously after paying worship to their ancestors, the signboards of whom are generally erected at the wall of their apartments for almost all families.

Joyful children can be seen in small groups beating up their minor drums and making house-to-house call with lion dance performances to bless for wealth of the residents. They are presented with "Hong Bao" (red packet with money put inside) in return for their calls.

A Chinese family with young and old picking up their special purchase goods from a roadside stall told Xinhua that their family is going to spend the night of the new year eve by staying up late or all night to observe the moment of changing to a new calendar year with part of their family members planning to go to some Buddhist temples at the night to pay homage to Lord Buddha and Guanyin, the goddess of mercy in Buddhist legend.

There are two relatively larger temples in the Chinatown, one is Guangdong natives' and another Fujian natives'. Both temples are expected to be immediately overfilled with pilgrims as soon as big drums at the temples are beaten at punctual 24:00 hours to signal the ushering in of the new year.

Source: Xinhua

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