Hokkien New Year
A simple altar with offerings to the Jade Emperor

Hokkien New Year is celebrated every year on the Ninth Day of Chinese New Year. Some may wonder, why the ninth day, why not the first day?

Legend has it that during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Hokkiens were attacked by bandits and to save themselves, they hid in a sugar cane plantation until the ninth day when they were sure it was safe to return home. Coincidentally, it was also the Jade Emperor’s birthday; they had been saved by his divine intervention and the protective cover of the sugar cane stalks. (which explains the significance of the Sugar Cane stalks during this celebration)

Having missed the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, they celebrated their salvation that day and ever since then, the Hokkien dialect group have regarded this date as a symbol of their survival and a time for major celebrations every year.