Chinese New Year celebration is just around the corner in Malaysia and anywhere in the world where Chinese people live. Anywhere one turns there are signs declaring Gong Xi Fa Chai (“wishes for a happy, prosperous new year”). Inside homes New Year preparations are taking precedence over most everything else. Lots of shopping takes place– not for gifts–but to replace household items that are less than perfect. This is a time for superstitions and traditions, both of which Penang thrives upon. Auspicious food and decorative items are brought into the homes in the belief that they will attract good luck and good fortune in the coming year.
Stores are stocked with lots of red decorations as well as special foods available only for the new year. Red and gold decorations are considered the auspicious colors to bring in the New Year.
Stores try to outdo each other with gimmicks to draw in customers for holiday spending. In this instance, an employee dresses up in an old traditional Chinese costume to pose as the “god of prosperity” greeting customers at the entrance to the store.