Sarikei CNY 2007 - Hogging the limelight
hinese New Year (CNY) is celebrated on the first day of the Lunar New Year. This year it fell on 18-2 (18 Feb) (which rhymes with "sure to prosper easily" in Cantonese). It is also called the Spring Festival because it is the beginning of the Spring term, which is the first term of the 24 terms on the lunar calendar.
Legend has it that once upon a time, Buddha requested all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year but only 12 came. Buddha named a year after each of the animal and people borned with that zodiac animal sign will have some of that animal's personality. Folks born in the year of the pig will supposedly have good manners, are loyal to friends, work very hard and appreciate luxury.
There are several versions of the origins of Chinese New Year. A popular one is that in ancient China, the Chinese were afraid of a man easting beast called Nian (which rhymes with "year" in Mandarin). The Chinese later discovered that Nian did not like the colour red and loud noises so they scared it away with fireworks and the prominent use of the colour red. So guo Nian literally means passover the beast, Nian. Do you like to guo Nian?
This CNY's lightings stretched from Nyelong River (along Kubu Road) to Sarikei River (along Jalan Masjid Lama) and literally painted the town red! Apparently, the lightings arrangment of 2006 across the streets felled one day so for 2007, they tried a different arrangement. Most people like the more compact decor of 2006 versus spreading the lights too thinly as in 2007.
Technically there's a ban on fireworks and firecrackers in Malaysia but you can expect fireworks to start in Sarikei as early as 11.30pm on CNY eve till 12.30am. CNY will not have the same feel without fireworks. Click on the video (filmed at Nyelong Park) and enter the year of the pig with a BANG!