Gifted: A Final Glance

Before it’s totally untimely: the final remnants of my much-adored Christmas Stocking.

ChineseNewYear

1. Chinese New Year Kit. The gold bars say Hell Bank on them. Anyone know what that’s all about?

Cookies

2. Flowery, fragile sesame cookies. Crunchy, crumbly, crave-worthy.

Soaps3

3. A rainbow’s worth of macaroon-like soaps.

TaroWafers

4. And a bin of macaroon-colored Taro wafers.

(Everything on Earth reminds me of macaroons these days.)

8 Responses to “Gifted: A Final Glance”

  1. Saucy Says:

    My friend Kristin loves your blog: http://kristinsmith.tumblr.com/

    Also I want to eat those soaps.

  2. will Says:

    Kristin, and anyone else, SHOULD send me locks of their hair.

  3. alec Says:

    Heys, it’s not exactly a chinese new year kit. Instead, those items are what we chinese usually use for commemorating and paying respects to our ancestors and the deceased. according to chinese traditions, these gold bars and hell banks notes are burnt (literally) as a means of reaching the deceased in hell, so that the deceased are able to lead an afterlife of wealth without worry.

  4. leng Says:

    hell note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_bank_note

    sometimes, chinese in singapore (not sure about the chinese from other countries) will also burn other amenities made of paper like mobile phones, cars etc.

  5. will Says:

    Thanks, Alec and Leng for the info on the Chinese traditions. So interesting the Chinese imagine (many of) their dead loved ones in hell. In Western thought we assume everyone, even mean cads, end up in heaven.

  6. tommy Says:

    It’s all rather convoluted because the concept of life, death and afterlife as some Chinese believe is influenced by folk religions, Daoism and Buddhism. But no one goes to heaven, all beings go to hell to be purged of sins of their previous lives and to be prepared for their next life, as a human or something else, depending on how bad you have been. The act of burning possessions to deceased loved ones, as I understand, comes from the tradition of burial goods found in ancient tombs but adapted for modern times as cremation becomes more popular especially in land-scarce areas.

  7. amber Says:

    where are the soaps from??

  8. will Says:

    Hi Amber!

    The box holding the soaps says Claus Porto.

    I just went to ClausPorto.com and it seems half lovely.

    -William