What is “Teochew coming of age”?
“Teochew coming of age” is a unique traditional culture of Teochew.A special coming of age ceremony mean for kid reaching the age of 15,into adulthood.
Why the need for “Coming of age” ceremony?
The tradition of wearing red clog and bite chicken head during the ceremony, is started by imperial scholar Lin Daqin who is a Teochew during the reign of Ming dynasty Ming Shizong. Legend said that during the young Lin Daqing Schooling age, he can’t afford a proper shoe, instead he wear a red clog daily.One day,on the way home,he saw an old sage squatting on the roadside with a rooster and a pair of red paper. One piece is blank and other piece written “雄鸡头上髻。” Old sage welcome the passerby to fill up the blank piece with matching poetry, shall get the rooster. Un-match poetry shall compensate him with a pair of red paper. Lin Daqing stand there for a moment and match it with : “牝羊颔下须。” Very good, old sage said. And the rooster was gifted to Lin Daqing.
Back home, his father cooked the rooster, chop off the rooster head for Lin Daqing as show of champion as reward. Later, Lin Daqing really becomes a famous imperial scholar. The Teochew thought that this is a good sign. Whenever the children started school, parent will buy a pair of red clog for the children and hug big rooster.