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Monday, February 27, 2006

First day of 2nd lunar month

So, it's been a month ago since Chinese New Year and today is the first day of the 2nd month in the lunar calendar :)

As usual, it is typical to see the florist and fruit stalls popping up on the roadside twice a month; once on the last day of the month(the lunar calendar, please:P) and another is during the mid-month period; which is also the 15th day of the month. These days are observed by the Chinese community; particularly the Buddhists and the Taoists as the former stick to being vegetarians while the latter also practises the same but also at the same time, offering to the deities flowers, fruits and little cakes such as the one captured.

This is the popular little flour cakes as I call them; (this picture was taken ages ago) ...sometime last year. In Penang, you see different types of these flour cakes; they come in even orange flavours, gula melaka and pandan :) But of course, the most popular is still the pink ones due to the offering to the deities and the colour is more appropriate with the auspicious tint of red as they call it. In fact, some sellers actually put a tad bit too much of the color into these little cakes that they get totally too "poisonous" for human consumption.

There is another rendition of this kueh used for offerings; which is called the "Huat kueh" (in Hokkien) which are actually rice cakes. Made from rice and a little coconut milk(or santan), they are almost similar in appearance but the rice cakes are smaller in size. They are the preferred offering choice since they used the different type of flour; i believe it's the rising flour which makes the cakes blossom and thus the name "huat"(blossom or expand in Hokkien). Due to its auspicious meaning and pronounciation which could mean the growing and expanding wealth and fortune, it is not a surprise why it is a favoured option for offerings :)
For me however, i still prefer the type in the picture and I recently found out that there is another amusing name for this kueh; they call it the English/Western style of Huat Kueh...probably due to the cup cakes style:)