Hungry Ghost Festival...

~ Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 9:35 PM ~

Oh yes, ghosts get hungry too... *eyes rolling*

Anyway, I'd just like to share some thoughts on the Hungry Ghost Festival which is celebrated by a lot of Chinese. According to Wikipedia,

"The Ghost Festival also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month (14th in southern China).

In Chinese tradition, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in Spring) and Chung Yeung Festival (in Autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, on Ghost Day, the deceased are believed to visit the living.

On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is ancestor worship, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths.

Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals (often vegetarian meals) would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living.

Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities."

 

What I can remember was whenever the 7th lunar month approaches, the old folks will be telling us to come home early (if possible not to go out at night too), be careful if we're travelling at night and not to eat any roadside food. I also remembered accompanying my dad to clean up his parent's tombs (chopping off the weeds and bringing foods for offering) and we would also be burning up joss sticks and those joss papers.

Some Chinese who can afford it will actually buy those papier-mache items to burn for their deceased family members. Just look at the following pictures I got from the Google image search... I'm not kidding you, these are some of the things that got burned which is believed will be sent over to the deceased family members and ancestors..

  Hell notes...

  Clothings... even dentures!

  Luxury cars with driver too!

  Motorbike to cruise in hell?

  Wow! A laptop too!

  Washing machine!

Since I became a Christian about 5 years ago, I no longer celebrated or participated in this festival and have often wondered whether it is necessary to be burning all these stuff.

I mean, I absolutely get it if you want to pay respect to your ancestors or deceased family members but to the extent of burning all these stuff? Sigh.... I don't know what else to say...

Do you think it is necessary to have all this?

Have You Ever Bought Something Embarrassing?

~ Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 1:23 AM ~

Sigh... as I was shampooing my hair this afternoon, I realised that the shampoo I bought kinda embarrassed me... Everytime I shampoo my hair, I am reminded of this embarrassing incident... This is how the story goes:

You see, I have been using this brand of shampoo for some time now and I realised it's not effective, I'm still having dandruff issues and hence decided to purchase another brand of shampoo during one of our grocery shopping trip at Tesco. So I was scouting around, comparing brands and prices and sizes, and finally decided on this:

Rejoice shampoo

(*Image taken from Google image search)

It has the anti dandruff feature which I am looking for, the price is reasonable and I like the small 90ml size as well... just in case it doesn't work at least I don't waste as much as getting the 700ml bottle. So I happily bought it and told hubby I've gotta finished up using the current shampoo (in order not to waste it) so that I can try out the new bottle of shampoo I just got!

And then as I was shampooing my hair with the current shampoo, I realised something...

Crap...

The current shampoo which I said it's not effective... which I'm trying to finish it up so I could try the new one...

is the same brand as the new one I just got...

Arghhhhhhhhhh!!

I know it's my fault for not even remembering the brand of the shampoo I'm currently using... sigh...

Now not only have I got the big bottle of shampoo to finish, I have another 90ml bottle of the same shampoo to use as well....

Grrrrrrrr.....

So what about you? Have you bought anything embarrassing before?

I'm a full-time mummy

Natural Age of Weaning is Between 2.5 to 7 Years!

~ Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 9:30 AM ~

According to this article I read, the natural age of weaning is to be between two-and-a-half and seven years.

Yeap! You read that right!

Between two-and-a-half and seven years!

My record as of today, is 17 months and 3 weeks+.

Read the excerpts below which I took from the same article:

Anthropologists estimate the natural age of weaning to be between two-and-a-half and seven years, based on developmental factors and with comparisons with other mammals. According to the World Health Organisation, the worldwide average for weaning is four-and-a-half years.

Many mums are told their milk doesn't have any goodness once their baby is older. In reality, it's not possible for the nutrients in breastmilk to "switch off" once infants reach a certain age.

Breastfeeding a toddler can provide 31% of his daily energy needs, 38% of protein, 45% of vitamin A and 95% of vitamin C. Breastmilk is packed with unique antibodies for immune system development and there are many studies showing toddlers who are breastfed get sick far less often.

Many people feel that breastfeeding past a certain age will make kids overly dependent or clingy, but research has shown the opposite to be true. Children who form a secure attachment with their mother become more independent and can more easily form attachments with others.

Breastfeeding a toddler can make it easier for mums too. With a quick feed you can soothe a sore knee or a tantrum, or get a child off to sleep! Plus you'll reduce your risk of anaemia, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, breast and ovarian cancers.

It can sometimes be hard to imagine how you can breastfeed away from home with a toddler. But in reality it can be easier than feeding a small baby. Toddlers can go a lot longer between feeds. Even if you are out for a few hours you may not need to feed and, if you do, it can be very quick.

 

I just love the part "Breastfeeding a toddler can provide 31% of his daily energy needs, 38% of protein, 45% of vitamin A and 95% of vitamin C." That just makes me feel awfully good! Of course, I don't have a clue how much percentage is the nutrients in my breastmilk before I came across this article but it feels good knowing I'm still giving Ben all these wonderful and awesome goodies through my breastmilk!

And I definitely agree with "Breastmilk is packed with unique antibodies for immune system development and there are many studies showing toddlers who are breastfed get sick far less often." cos I can see how rare Ben gets sick (touch wood!) and even when he did fall sick, he recovers so quickly and there are times we didn't even notice what's wrong until he's almost on the way to recover fully.... this is generally because he is active all the time and doesn't show much signs of being sick at all.

I thank God for the ability to still produce breastmilk for Ben and that we are all healthy and happy!

Ben, mummy promise you,

I will breastfeed as long as you still wants it!

Oh, btw if you are free (if not, please spare a couple of minutes),

do read up on this really truly inspiring article on the power of breastmilk!

Happy weekend to all of you!