Chinese New Year tradition

Just curious, does anyone in Miri do the yee sang tradition during CNY? Is it even a tradition in the first place?

the wha?

You know, the opening routine during the feast whereby everyone would do the toss-and-mix of various dry food at the center of the table?

You know - I’m not aware of that. I might have missed something here. But then I’m not very traditional anyway.

Okay, I’ve found the recepi:

An article about it:

The Yee Sang or Chinese New Year Salad completes the special menu.

Made from slices of raw fish, shredded vegetables, herbs and spices, the Yee Sang is believed to bring good fortune and wealth in the coming year.

Once it is served, says Shangri-La, family and friends gather and engage in a friendly banter while tossing and mixing the ingredients shortly before the meal. It is otherwise known as Low Hei, symbolizing liveliness, prosperity and longevity. In Cantonese, it is also known as Loh Sang, which literally means, stir up life.

Translated to business and other endeavors, it means to see something
materialize and become a success.

And a picture of it:

Ah, finally found some proof from Onn Yeoh’s blog:


Evolving CNY traditions

When I was a young kid growing up in Penang from 1979 to 1983, there was no such thing as yee sang during CNY. I came across it for the first time around 1996 when I returned to Malaysia after spending many years abroad. I remember asking my colleagues in KL what yee sang was and they expressed surprise that I was clueless about this tradition.

I asked my mother about it this morning and she confirmed that there didn’t use to be this tradition. “It’s just a commercial thing,” she says.

It’s interesting how it’s such a big part of our M’sian CNY culture now, though.

I think it’s just a West Malaysian thing, among many others. Visiting friends’ houses and ‘open house’ are not a tradition at all in China’s CNY.

yee sang have a long history since Late Zhou dynasty around B.C. 823.










I think it is West Malaysian tradition. My family never had it. I only learnt about it when I met the Hong-Ki, Singaporean, West Malaysian, etc. It is not even common in Taiwan, I think.

We have something similar being Hakka, we have got a tradition during the 7th day of Chinese New Year. Where we all prepare 7 vegetable dishes, (no meats at all, just stir friend vegetable) and then mix them all up with rice and serve it with tea! You could have it without tea if you want. I know it sounds weird but it is VERY delicious. Traditionally, you mix it with bitter tea, but with the new generation we mix it just with green tea or jasmine tea.

I am not sure what is the story behind this tradition. Hmm


it definitely is an ancient dish, but it’s not one that all Chinese will follow. Therefore the tossing of Yee Sang is then more or less re-picked up by the West Malaysians Chinese.

For more information, here.

This really answered the question that was posed whenever I see those people on TV jabbing their dish with chopsticks during those CNY specials and I thought they eat messy not to mention quite unhygenic (we usually use a big spoon to take the portions onto our dish before eating them with chopsticks - not just using our chopsticks and contaminating the dish with it).

speaking about hygene, there is another fact related with parasite. -.-|||| lime juice might kill parasite on surface but how about inside?