Sunday, 15 February 2015

Year-end send-off prayers to the ancestors

The last week or so had been very busy for my wife and I during this run-up to the Chinese New Year. We have been spring-cleaning the house almost daily and we couldn't believe the amount of dust that had accumulated since about two years ago. My hospitalisation in January of 2014 meant that we hardly had time to spring-clean the house last year; this year, it was back to the mops and brooms with a vengeance!

Anyhow, we did manage to slot in some time to visit Ipoh last weekend and gone out to the island for our weekend yoga classes. Yesterday, we awoke very early at six o'clock to prepare for the annual end-of-year prayers to my departed ancestors.

That would mean my grandparents on both my paternal and maternal side, my parents and my aunt. I had written in the past how challenging it once was to throw the old pair of coins that would signify whether they had, erm, arrived at our house for our little prayer session. These old coins were meant for divination purposes: a heads-and-tail combination would mean that yes, your inquiries have been answered while a tail-tail or a head-head combination would mean a no, and you will have to try again.

My past run-in with the door guardians or door spirits was that I had failed to request them to allow my ancestors unhindered passage into the house. They would be stopped at the door  and not allowed in until I had prayed to the door guardians and told them my purpose.

This time, I pre-empted the potential sticky situation by purposefully praying to the door guardians first. After that, my first try with the divination coins was a successful head-tail combination. Yes, my ancestors had arrived for the feat of fruits and Chinese New Year tidbits. After an hour, I tried again to inquire whether my ancestors had finished. And yes, they had. They were indeed satisfied.

And with that, ended our simple prayers this year-end....

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