Jade Emperor’s Birthday
The Jade Emperor’s Birthday is a major celebration among the Hokkien community. The Jade Emperor’s Birthday is commonly known as the Hokkien New Year. On this day, Taoist temples as well as individual homes hold a Jade Emperor ritual or ‘heavenly worship’ by burning incense and offering food at midnight. Worshipping of Jade Emperor began in the late Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) when new settlers from Hunan Province migrated with military escort into Fujian Province. The offering of sugarcane is very important because it is believed that the Hokkien community was saved from their enemies when they hid in the sugarcane plantation. As a result, they offer sugarcane annually as a form or thanksgiving to the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor’s Birthday is a major celebration among the Hokkien community in Penang, known as ‘Thnee Kong Seh’.