A merry gathering on ‘everyone’s birthday’

Here’s to a year of luck: Ooi (fifth from right) tossing yee sang with his family at a restaurant in Jelutong, Penang. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Ren Ri celebration on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year this year was a memorable one for property development company managing director Datuk Ooi Ghee Shen and his family.

It was a merry gathering of more than 70 family members at a restaurant here to celebrate what is also known as “everyone’s birthday”.

“This is the first time we are having such a big family gathering since the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is also the first time we are celebrating Ren Ri together.

“We usually meet up on the second day of Chinese New Year every year.

“As our family is growing bigger, we decided to meet on a Saturday, which happens to be on Ren Ri,” Ooi said.

He said that four generations of family members gathered at the restaurant, with the youngest member being only one year old and the oldest being 88 years old.

“We started making arrangements two months ago as we had relatives coming back from Australia and China.

“Everyone enjoyed themselves and was busy catching up.

“It is better to eat in a restaurant as the space is big enough to cater for such a large group.

“We booked six tables and had over 70 people here,” he said.

For marketing executive Annabelle Chan and her family, the seventh day of Chinese New Year is as important as the first day of the festival.

Coming from a Cantonese-speaking family, the 28-year-old said her grandparents always made it a point to celebrate “everyone’s birthday” together.

“My grandparents are from Guangzhou, China, and it is an occasion that they insist we continue to celebrate.

“On Ren Ri, we will usually have a ‘lou sang’ session and eat noodles for longevity.

“After a two-year hiatus, I am happy to finally be home from Australia and celebrate this memorable occasion with my relatives, some of who came from as far as Singapore.

“As the celebration is dubbed ‘everyone’s birthday’, I decided to celebrate it with new clothes,” she quipped.

According to Chinese myth, humans were created by the goddess Nuwa on the seventh day, when she began shaping yellow clay into her likeness.

Ren Ri is mainly observed by the Kwang Tung community in Malaysia and in Cantonese, the day is called “Yan Yat” or “people’s day”.

The Cantonese in Malaysia usually eat fresh fish porridge and noodles on this day and they usually pair fresh fish slices with seven types of vegetables and call it lou sang, which has an auspicious meaning.

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Ren Ri celebration ,


Next In Nation

Allowing EPF withdrawals not the only way to ease public burden, says Anwar
JB petrol station owner fined RM40,000 for allowing foreign-registered vehicle to pump RON95 fuel
High Court sets May 11 for decision in Loh's unilateral conversion challenge
Not true Guan Eng revoked Yayasan Al-Bukhary's tax exempt status, Anwar tells Parliament
Bintulu naval base a must for Malaysia's security in South China Sea, says Bongowan rep.
Appeals court allows release of Rosmah's passport, ex-PM's wife to spend Hari Raya in Singapore
Nearly 2.8 million stored Covid-19 vaccine doses expired on Feb 28, says Health Ministry
Flood mitigation projects to be expedited to reduced impact of disaster, says PM
Cops arrest man for assaulting doctor after road accident
661 unaccompanied minors currently held at Immigration depots, says Home Minister

Others Also Read