Chinese New Year Yu-Sheng and the Aaronic Blessings

The Yu-Sheng dish is a great opportunity for us to get together and proclaim blessings on one another. The process is called Lo Hei, mixing and bringing up the best wishes and blessings. Here is the list in the order of the serving and blessings. It matches well with the Aaronic Blessings and hence for believers, consider using the Aaronic Blessings as well when you next partake this dish.

In this 2013 Chinese New Year period, most of us would have partaken at least four to five times this recent invention of "Yu Sheng" 鱼生 Dish. It is a dish of blessings that we enjoy together with our family, in-laws, colleagues, friends and business partners throughout this fifteen days. There are a particular order and protocol for serving this dish. As each ingredient is added, a word of blessing is pronounced and finally ended with everyone putting their chop-sticks and mix up and stir up the ingredients as high as possible signifying the height of great blessings.

This reunion type of lunch or dinner reminds me of believers holy communion as well. I have always tried to see if we can relate the Chinese blessings to biblical blessings as well. The blessings are like the Benedictions of a Church Service. So most of the benedictions can be considered. I also try to search for the relevant biblical verses. Eventually, I found that the Aaronic Blessings of Numbers 6:22-24 shockingly matches the Chinese Blessings, 6 parts blessings to the 6 ingredients to be added to the main salad. Here is the mind-map giving the details.

For the final blessing, I think it is good that we give thanks to the Lord God, our Heavenly Father, the source, and giver of all our blessings.

So, in your next Yu-Sheng together, besides the Chinese Blessings, maybe you can consider reciting the Aaronic Blessings as well, especially if you are with believers.

For this Chinese New Year,
  May the Lord 1 bless you and 2 keep you.
  May He 3 makes His face to shine upon you that you may know his great treasures for you,
                4 be gracious to you putting your life in order and beauty.
  May He 5 turn His face towards you and receive you fully
                6 and give you peace and wholeness of health, wealth and relationships.
  May His Name and His Kingdom be exalted forever.

Lim Liat (c) 19 Feb 2013

《Updated 1 Feb 2016》
Here is the shortened version of Aaronic Blessings on Yu Sheng Preparation:

Yu Seng is the Aaronic Blessings. See http://christianity-rediscovered.blogspot.sg/2013/02/chinese-new-year-yu-sheng-and-aaronic.html

1 Squeeze Lime on the raw fish and say 大吉大利
The Lord bless you with great fortunes and profits - Num 6:22a

2 Put in the fish on the main plate and say 年年有鱼
The Lord keep you always with having fish to eat &
guard you with a hedge of protection - Num 6:22b

3 Put in the peanuts, sesame seeds, and say 五福临门  (长寿, 富贵, 康宁, 好德, 善终)
The Lord make His face shine upon you with blessings that come like the sands of the beaches and the stars of the sky. - Num 6:23a

4 Sprinkle the pepper & spies power & say 招财进宝
and bringing in the wealth and precious treasures.
(Some versions use 鸿运当头 Great Fortunes are pouring down on your head.)

5 Pour in the oil and say 顺顺利利
The Lord be gracious to you making sure all go well with you - Num 6:23b

6 Pour in the sweet sauce and say 甜甜蜜蜜
The Lord turns His face toward you to have intimate relationships with you and that all your relationships may be sweet - Num 6:24a

7 Spread the crackers and say 满地黄金
The Lord gives you shalom peace of abundance everywhere - Num 6:24b.

8 Everyone stirs up the ingredients resulting in 风生水起 (the wind blows and the water is stirred up meaning all things starts to grow and make progress) and say 恭喜发财 "wishing all great joy and riches."
Praise the Lord. "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever" Mat 6:13
For you are our glory and joy. 1Th_2:20


Unknown said...

it should be Numbers 24

Unknown said...

I'm not judging anyone but I felt by replacing it with God's words on pagan practice is not right. You said it reminds you as Holy communion, what if non believer partaking holy communion and replace the meaning to suit them? That's my opinion. May God bless you.

Lim Liat said...

Instead of building walls, we should build bridges and connections, to lead them to know the true God through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:20-22 New International Version (NIV)
20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.

I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

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David Yan said...

i totally agree. We build bridges to bring them to the knowledge and saving grace of the Lord. Paul's objective was that the name of Christ was proclaimed, whatever was the original motive in preaching it Phil 1:18. It is not even about keeping the Holy Communion sacred but that through it, others are brought close to know His love and His blessings and finally a possible avenue to know His salvation, that is good enough.