Top 10 Gifts for the Shenkuu Festival
Right, the New Year has passed, and Neopia has entered Y14. But there is another New Year coming - the Shenkuu New Year, which is also known as the Shenkuu Festival. With it starting on the 23rd of Month of Sleeping this year, some of you may have to rush to get some lovely gifts for your Shenkuu friends. However, due to the Shenkuu tradition, there are things to avoid. For example, the item 'Clock' may sound like a wonderful gift due to its rarity (r99), but it is one thing you must avoid since 'giving a clock' has a pronunciation of 'attending at a funeral of a close family member' in the Shenkuu language. There are several more traditions, and to make it simple, I will hereby list out the top 10 gifts for the Shenkuu Festival.
#10: Bottle of Love
Right, it may just be a bottle containing hundreds of red paper hearts. But if you give it with your heartfelt thanks, it is above anything else. And more importantly, its red colour is the theme colour of the Shenkuu Festival.
#9: Freeze Dried Sausage
Although there isn't a special meaning, Freeze Dried Sausage has always been on any Shenkuu Festival's shopping list due to its popularity. Traditionally, this will be chopped and added as an ingredient in the making of steamed rice (kind of similar to 'Lotus Rice' in Neopia). And so, if your beloved neofriend loves to eat, this could be your first choice!
#8: Steamed Fish
Fish has been a necessary dish during the Shenkuu Festival. It has a pronunciation of 'remains' in Shenkuu language, and is therefore used as a blessing of having 'wealth remains'. And among the many possible cuisines, steamed fish is the most common one. It is also a gourmet food (r93) in Neopia, and your neofriend will definitely enjoy the dish!
#7: Ornate Bowl of Oranges
Certain types of oranges are sometimes pronounced similar to 'auspiciousness' in Shenkuu language, and it is widely considered a lucky blessing to everyone eating them. It is usually decorated just like the item picture and put in the living room to welcome the visitors paying a courtesy call. It is also a gourmet food (r91) in Neopia, and the visitors will definitely feel your welcome!
#6: Dragon Roll
According to the Chinese Zodiac, Shenkuu is entering the Year of Dragon. And so, this beautiful roll has now achieved an additional meaning. In fact, Dragons have been traditionally recognized as a good omen, and this gourmet food (r94) is therefore a good consideration for your best neofriends!
#5: Treasure Sweets
Price: Less than 1k
You will always see one of these when you are paying your Shenkuu neofriend a visit during the Shenkuu Festival. It contains a lot of candies and stuff, and it totally depends on the family's preference. But traditionally, there are some items that you will always see, including Egusi (red), Pistachio (white - top right; also known as 'happy nut' in Shenkuu), sweetened lotus seed (white - bottom) and some forms of chocolate (center; assumed to be the colours of the wrapping papers in the item picture). Very often, some families will also put two Red Good Luck Packets on top of it. And hence, if your neofriend is young and loves candies, it is a must that you send him/her one during the festival!
#4: Steamed Round Dumplings
It may look plain and white, but it is a necessary dessert after the Shenkuu Festival dinner. Just like many other suggestions above, it has a similar pronunciation of 'reunion' in Shenkuu language, and is therefore used as a health blessing so that the reunion can continue next year. And in the item picture, the stuffing is sesame, and is one of the two more popular favours together with rock sugar (white appearance in contrast).
#3: New Year Fire Crackers & New Year Yurble Dragon
Prices: Less than 1k total
The two items actually came from an ancient Shenkuu story. The 'New Year Yurble Dragon' is a symbol of a monster named 'Year', which always appears during the Shenkuu Festival. It was found by the ancients that it fears the red colour, noise and fire. And so, during the Shenkuu Festival, some people will brandish the 'New Year Yurble Dragon' to represent the monster, while others will light the 'New Year Fire Crackers' to scare away the monster. If your neofriend prefers playing over eating, this is a gift that he/she will definitely love!
#2: Chia Sticky New Year Cake and/or Koi Sticky New Year Cake and/or New Year Cake
Prices: 9k / 5k / 5k
Although the three cakes look a bit Neopia-styled rather than Shenkuu-styled, one could not argue about the meanings behind the cakes. In Shenkuu language, 'cake' has a pronunciation similar to 'tall', and is a blessing of 'growing taller' especially for children. Besides, the three cakes have their respective Shenkuu words. Here, the 'Chia Sticky New Year Cake' has a word meaning 'wealth' whereas the 'Koi Sticky New Year Cake' has one meaning 'remains' (the same as #8: Steamed Fish). And lastly, the 'New Year Cake' has a word meaning 'good fortune' in the middle. With the different options, you can definitely find the cake most suitable for your Shenkuu friend!
#1: Red Good Luck Packet
Price: Less than 1k
Red Good Luck Packet has a pronunciation similar to 'good fortune in matters'. In Shenkuu, there are many other types of Red Good Luck Packets. And in the item picture, this one has a blessing of auspiciousness (the same as #7: Ornate Bowl of Oranges). But this is not the end of story.
It is a tradition for married people to put money inside the packet, and then give them to the relatives/friends when they bless you during the Shenkuu Festival. Although the action is not possible in Neopia, one can definitely find ways to work around. And I believe all your Shenkuu friends will definitely love them and put you on top of the VIP list!
So, you have it. These small but thoughtful gifts will surely bring the joy of Shenkuu Festival to the whole of Neopia. So, get ready now, or I won't be responsible if the prices of certain items go up due to this guide. ^^ Happy Shenkuu Festival!