Human Day – 人日快乐!
16th February 2013 is Renri. I only know that it is the official day for eating Yusheng being the 7th day of Spring Festival according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. So what is 人日?
A consultation with my KOAT (Knower Of All Things) and who better than Wikipedia revealed that…
Renri (Chinese:人日, literally Human Day) refers specially to the 7th day of zhengyue (正月, the first month in the Chinese calendar). According to Chinese customs, renri was the day human beings were created. It is celebrated not only in China, but also other regions influenced by Chinese culture.
According to Questions and Answers on Rites and Customs (答問禮俗說) by Dong Xun in Jin Dynasty, the days on which different animals were created are:
First of zhengyue : Chicken
Second of zhengyue : Dog
Third of zhengyue : Boar
Fourth of zhengyue : Sheep
Fifth of zhengyue : Cow
Sixth of zhengyue : Horse
Seventh of zhengyue : Human.
By Book of Divinationan (占書),an earlier of publication by Dongfang Suo in Western Han Dynasty, on the eighth of zhengyue was the creation of cereal.
Hence, Chinese tradition set the first day of zhengyue as the “birthday” of chicken, the second day of zhengyue as the birthday of dog, etc. And the seventh day of zhengyue is viewed as the common “birthday” of all human beings.
According to legend, the custom dates back to the Han Dynasty, and gained importance after The Three Kingdoms period and Jin Dynasty. Traditional Chinese wear Rensheng (人勝) on their heads, or put sliced gold on pingfeng and hair. Poems are also composed on this day. Emperors after Tang Dynasty may grant beautiful clothing to his followers on this day.
If the weather on renri is fine, it can be forecast that God will grant good luck to all people on earth. Fireworks and Hua Pao (花炮) are lit, so renri celebrates the “birthday” of fire as well.
Since the first days of zhengyue are considered “birthdays” of different animals, Chinese people avoid killing the animals on the respective birthday and punishing prisoners on renri.
Nowadays in zhengyue, renri is celebrated as part of the Chinese New Year. Chinese people prepare lucky food in the new year, where “Seven-vegetable soup” (七菜羹), “Seven-vegetable congee” (七菜粥) and “Jidi congee” (及第粥) are specially prepared for renri. The Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese use “Seven-colour sliced fish” (七彩魚生) instead of “Seven-vegetable soup”.
Information on Renri: Wikipedia
Photo Credits: Google Images and also from friends’ postings in Facebook and WhatsApp.
存好心、说好话、行好事、做好人 〜 好人一生平安!
Happy Birthday Everyone!