THE Chinese New Year, usually ushered in by a string of crackers, was quite prominently celebrated throughout Malaya, judging from the festive attire of the individuals and the joyous red hangings on the doors of houses. The Chinese Catholic Community closed their old year with the usual religious service thanking God for the graces of the past year, and began the new with attendance at Mass to ask this blessing for the New.

There are some who are inclined to object to the celebration of the New Year by Catholics with Church Services, on the grounds that it will be condoning the superstitious practices observed for the season by non-Catholics. The New Year as celebrated by the Chinese has no religious significance in itself. It is a purely secular event: the inauguration of a new year as calculated by a time honoured Chinese system based on the lunar-month. The superstitions and rites practised by the non-Catholic masses are introduced by the private individual as a means of ensuring for himself, according to his belief, a prosperous year.

Thus for Catholics the introduction of a religious element in their celebrations is in the way of sanctifying the year at its outset by asking the blessing of the Author of all good just as one may and should sanctify his day by devoting his first thoughts and acts to his Almighty Maker.
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, 1st February, 1936 (pdf pp49)

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