Jade Emperor of the Heaven Birthday 天公诞

The ninth day of the Chinese New Year is traditionally the birthday of the Jade Emperor of the Heaven (Tian Gong Dan).  This day is especially important to the Hokkiens, even more important than the first day of the Chinese New Year.

On the midnight of the eighth day of the Chinese New Year, Hokkiens will offer thanks to the Jade Emperor of Heaven.  In the morning of his birthday (traditionally anytime from midnight to 7am), households would set up an altar table with 3 layers: one top (containing of six vegetables (六斋), noodles, fruits, cakes, tang yuan, vegetable bowls, and unripe betel, all decorated with red paper) and two lower levels (containing the five sacrifices (五牲) and wines) to honour the deities below the Jade Emperor. The household from the eldest to the youngest then kneels three times and kowtows nine times to pay obeisance and wish him a long life.

Incense, tea, fruit, roasted meat products, and gold paper is served as a customary protocol for paying respect.





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