We have a tradition on New Year’s Day to give special allowances to children in my homeland. When I was a child myself, I did not understand (nor did I care to understand) the meaning of this tradition – I just loved accepting extra income from the first day of the year!
But as I began to earn my own income and became one of those to be on the giving side of this tradition, I came to realize it was a pretty hefty expense from the first day of the year… so, although I did not think I could accept it with my arms wide open, I thought I could at least gain a good understanding of it so I could give out the allowances wholeheartedly.
Apparently, in the olden days, it did not used to be money but rather a particular food shared by a particular group of beings that was given out. It looked a little like this, I imagine:
Rice cake offered to the Gods
At year-end, we make rice cakes and shape them round to resemble mirrors upon offering them to the Gods of Harvest who are said to visit us on New Year’s Day – mirrors, to allow us to see the holy reflections of the souls of the Gods in them. Once it is believed that the offered rice cakes have become holy, after the end of new year celebrations, they are handed down to everyone who visits the Gods to give prayers to spread their divine powers, and they are further given out to family members.
(I did not make the rice cake in the above photo, and I am told the shrine in the back is a miniature replica of the one my grandfather visited around the time I was born so I treat it more as the home of his spirits than that of a God, but I am going to insist it’s the thought that counts!)
So, the special allowances on New Year’s Day are imitations of holy hand-me-downs! After learning all this, I became much more willing to pay the expenses – by so doing, I get to take part in spreading divine powers, and that makes me feel very good about myself.
By the way, we give out the new year allowances in these little packets:
Roosters, the Chinese zodiac of next year, drawn together with many festive motifs… similar to red packets that are given out on Chinese New Year
I thought that, since tomorrow is New Year’s Day, I would send these holy hand-me-downs to my people affected by the big earthquakes back in mid-April. Their monetary worth may not lift them up too far, but I hope the divine powers will give them extra strength and courage to keep moving forward in the new year.
Maybe you can join me in sending something with similar powers to my people?
As with all but one previous get well messages which started with sending flower power, nothing special or extraordinary is asked of you. Only that, if there is something in your possession that has been blessed with special powers to give you strength and courage when most needed, you would kindly share it with my people.
Maybe you can take a snapshot of your blessed something and post it on your site?
And maybe you can let me know by leaving a comment?
Once again, you need not go out of your way. You don’t think you have just the thing? No problem – I assure you, it’s the thought that counts!
The last but certainly not the least thank you of this year to everyone who has stopped by this site and read through my post(s). It has been a truly fantastic year having you hand me out views and likes without stint… you are all saintly to me! I am ever so grateful to have met you this year, and I hope to see you just as much, and then some, in the new year!!