My Grandmother Traditions

Grandmother My maternal grandmother was born in a rural city in China known as Toishan in the Guangdong province. She was from a family of farmers and in order to eat, they had to procure most of their food from their own farm. They would grow their own vegetables and, sometimes, they would eat their livestock. However, it was more common that they sold their livestock for income or use them to assist with manual labor in the farm. The money would then go into buying meat and vegetables, when it was available, from other farmers who would set up a small little booth on the sides of the streets to sell some of their own vegetables and meat. When I asked how often they would go to buy food, she told me that she could not remember.
Some of the
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Some of the traditions that she remembered best were those surrounding birthday celebrations, the lunar New Year, and some religious holidays. Whenever it was someone’s birthday, it was common that they would commemorate the special day with an egg for the individual. The egg would represent their birth and was offered to them as a celebration of it. Sometimes, they would also take one of their own chickens to cook for this occasion. Though, this was very rare as they had to keep what they had of their livestock. The chicken was marinated in salt and water and then boiled in a wok. On the Lunar New Year, her family would only eat vegetables for breakfast and lunch and dinner consisted of food that were used as offerings to their ancestors and Chinese gods. Ancestor and deity worship were one of the most important traditions for her family. They had a wooden altar in their house. The altar was used to worship their ancestors and other Chinese deities. They would lay out several different dishes as offerings for them. Some of these dishes would include chicken, pig feet, gai lan, Chinese roast pork, and taro. Chinese wine was also offered to them as well. The dishes would be laid out in front of the altar and incense would be lit for them. This ritual happened a couple times a

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