It is a Hokkien (Fujian dialect) term you will hear a lot during Chinese New Year. It goes with the Chinese obsession with prosperity and luck in the form of riches via a windfall. Chinese folks like to gamble, be it at home card games, on mahjong tables or at casinos. So “huat” is like a clarion call and a good luck greeting.
It is not exclusive to Chinese New Year, though. I remember when the deities at the Nine Emperor Gods festival were paraded, every joss stick toting devotee was shouting “Huat Ah!” at the top of their lungs. So was the crowd when the ominous looking Hell Keeper’s deity was lifted for burning during Por Tor or the climax of the Hungry Ghost month.
Huat means ‘to prosper’ as in Fatt in Cantonese. So Huat Ah!
Sony A7R, ISO 160, f4, 1/250 sec
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