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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hong Kong Series at CantoneseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Hong Kong. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 13- Ya Festival, or 做牙 in Cantonese.
In this lesson, we will talk about the Ya Festival. This is a festival celebrated only by merchants and traders. Through holding the festival twice a month, the merchants wish for blessings from the God of Fortunes and Virtues, so that businesses will be prosperous.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you- In addition to Hong Kong, there is another region that also practices the Ya Festival celebration – do you know where it is?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
In general, the second and sixteenth of every lunar month are celebrated as Ya Festival.
The "First Ya of the year," or 頭牙, is on the 2nd day of the 2nd month in the Lunar calendar, which is also the birthday of the God of Fortunes and Virtues. The "Last Ya of the year," or 尾牙, is on the 16th day of the last month of the year in the Lunar calendar.
During each Ya Festival, chicken, pork, and fish are prepared for the God of Fortunes and Virtues, or 土地神 which literally means “Earth God” in Cantonese. This God of Fortunes and Virtues is considered one of the Gods that is commonly worshipped by Chinese people for good fortune, wealth, and well-being.
During the festival, you can also find roasted pigs, or 燒豬 as offerings on Ya Festival. The pigs are cut apart and distributed to employees of the company that is holding the event after the ceremony.
During Ya Festivals, bosses will bow and burn incense for the God of Fortunes and Virtues in front of the altar table filled with meat and offerings.
As I mentioned earlier, the festival happens twice a month, and during the "Last Ya of the year," some bosses hold a year-end banquet and give out year-end bonuses, or 年終獎金, to reward employees for their year of hard work. There is an interesting custom during this banquet. In the past, when the company decided to dismiss an employee before the new year, they pointed the beak of the chicken towards that person as a hint. However, in modern society, both employers and employees try to establish a harmonious relationship, so this custom is rarely seen. Instead, the “chicken head” or 雞頭 is pointed up.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
In addition to Hong Kong, there is another region that also practices the Ya Festival celebration. Do you know where it is?
In addition to Hong Kong, Taiwan or 台灣 also celebrates Ya Festival. At the year-end banquet, they eat steamed bun sandwiches. These look like western sandwiches, with meat placed in the middle of the bun.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Is there a festival similar to Ya Festival in your country?
Leave us a comment at CantoneseClass101.com
We'll see you next time!

5 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Is there a festival similar to Ya Festival in your country?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:48 PM
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Hello robert groulx,


You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

利凡特

Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Sunday at 10:33 PM
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thanks for the lesson


my favorite phrase is 年終獎金,


we do not celebrate this holiday


robert

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 03:42 PM
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Hi Dany Tran,


Thanks for your question.

Yes, it means "really great" in this sentence.

好(hou2) ~ really, 和味 (wo4 mei6) ~ great 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Dany Tran
Friday at 06:27 AM
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今年嘅年終獎金好和味


好和味 means great? Can you explain word by word for me please?


Thanks❤️️