Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leaving The Garden - A Custom

Survived another week without a maid, but hope a new one will be coming real soon, sigh. I was too busy to participate in this year OWOH giveaway. I did manage to visit some of the blogs though, and was lucky enough to win 2 giveaways. 1 is this black and silver stone bracelet from Anna McCurdy in Western Canada. Anna arranged the stones in such that the length will fit me and it's just perfect. I'm not a fashion guru, but I do think it's chic. Thanks, Anna!

My J cards revealed .... they are ... jellyfish! I'm not sure if they look like the real thing, but I'm happy with the tatted design and the whole card in general. Hope my recipients think likewise.

The theme for this month ATC session in Bishan Library was "March". Let's see - we have March starting on the same day of the week as November every year and February in common years only. International Women's Day is marked on the 8th of March every year. Pi Day is observed on March 14 because of the date's representation as 3/14 in month/day date format. This representation adheres to the commonly used approximation of 3.14 for π. World Water Day is observed on March 22 since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 as World Day for Water, and the theme for 2011 is "Water for Cities". After doing so much homework, I decided just a simple "March Marching In", and well, they do really march by pulling the 2 plastic strips.

We also learned to draw the Ed Emberley way using his books available in the library. Some are quite simple, but some are pretty complex pictures, he is able to show step by step drawing with just simple shapes and lines which will lead to the all sorts of pictures. You can see for yourself what we managed in the half hour!

I drew this scarecrow with highlighters following one of the books. Not bad for someone who don't draw :) The green hexagons piece was traded with Vicki, who painstakingly cut and pieced every piece by hand, while the ducks were drawn by Lyn.

Here's an attempt to translate the above Chinese text. "Leaving The Garden" is a traditional custom unique to the Teochew (which is one of the Chinese dialect groups). When a child reaches 15 years old according to the Chinese calender, the child goes through the garden ceremony to indicate that the child is already grown up and may go out the garden, and is no longer the noisy child who would play all day long in the garden.

Well, my boy just went through this today. I guess my mother-in-law has simplified a lot of things already. We went to the temple in the early morning to pray. As the child cannot meet any strangers (and so not go out of the house) throughout the whole day of the ceremony, we brought his new pyjamas, briefs and shoes to the temple instead. Back home, he then bathed with the flowers offerings and wear the new clothings. After that, offered tea to parents, and everyone sat down for lunch, eating a bit of every item of the temple offerings. This is the first time I know and went through such a ceremony (cos' I'm a Cantonese and we don't have such a custom).


Maureen said...

Such an interesting post! - a lovely description of the garden Ceremony, but i found myself wonderfing what a teenage boy must have been feeeling at having to stay indoors all day on his birthday!
I didn't know that March always begins on the same day of the week as November - I will have to remember that piece of trivia!

Val said...

Interesting coming-of-age ceremony... I'd not heard of it either.

Great ATCs! Love the March Marching in ATC you made. Very innovative.

Suztats said...

I love the jellyfish! Nice design!

KnitYoga said...

I love how the jellyfish came out and I wish we had such a wonderful library nearby. Congratulations to your son on leaving the garden!