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Saturday, 24 February 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Happy birthday to everyone!

ACCORDING to a Chinese myth, a goddess named Nuwa lived in this beautiful world when it was devoid of people.

In her loneliness, the goddess began creating living beings.

She made chickens on the first day and dogs on the second. Sheep, boars, cows and horses followed on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth days respectively.

On the seventh day, she began shaping yellow clay into her likeness.

The clay figures came to life and she added in them the ability to procreate.

Visitors taking part in a mass yee sang tossing ceremony at Tow Boo Kong Temple in Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth. – Photos: MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star
Visitors taking part in a mass yee sang tossing ceremony at Tow Boo Kong Temple in Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth. – Photos: MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

On account of this myth, the Chinese take the seventh day of Chinese New Year as ‘Ren Ri’ or ‘Everybody’s Birthday’.

Thousands celebrated ‘Ren Ri’ on Thursday at Tow Boo Kong Temple in Butterworth, Penang.

The highlight of the event was a mass yee sang tossing session.

The dish, made up of 15 ingredients such as carrot, white radish, ginger, roasted peanuts and sesame paste, was served on a 210m-long table at the temple in Jalan Raja Uda.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is also Bagan MP, graced the event.

The festive atmosphere was apparent as friends and strangers tossed yee sang and roared “Heng ah! Ong ah! Huat ah!” (fortune, luck and wealth in Hokkien). Event organising chairman Ng Hon Fai said the event had been held annually since 2012 and the crowd had increased tremendously over the years.

There was also a dazzling fireworks display.

Part of the crowd thronging Tow Boo Kong Temple for the celebration.
Part of the crowd thronging Tow Boo Kong Temple for the celebration.

Ng said the event was organised by the temple and sponsored by Tah Wah Group and MBI Group with the support of the state.

Event organising secretary Philip Goh promised an even grander celebration next year with the completion of the new temple building now under construction.

Among those present at the Ren Ri celebration were exco members Lim Hock Seng and Phee Boon Poh, and Tah Wah Group managing director Datuk Seri Hong Yeam Wah.

Among the happy crowd were businessman Kong Siew Kang, 55, and his family from Ipoh, Perak.

“What a grand celebration for everybody’s birthday!

“I will come back next year with more of my relatives,” he said.