I’m not a great fan of Chinese New Year (CNY). As a child, perhaps, but when I grow older, a lot of stuff that we do don’t hold any meaning to me anymore. But for the sake of the little one…
CNY is a time of
fasting feasting. It all begins on the eve with the reunion dinner and throughout the CNY period. At one point or another, you will do the “Lo Hei” and then you will fill your stomach with calories-laden goodies. We all know this truth but since this only happens once a year, many will just oblige and indulge.
The reunion dinner is an important meal and we will make it a point to accommodate everyone’s schedule so that every member of the family will be able to make it. This is from my Peranakan in-laws. Scrumptious food, who can resist? My family, on the other hand, will always go for steamboat and mom will open a few cans of abalone. But really, I don’t understand the fascination about it.
More eating ensues.
The “Lo Hei” or Yu Sheng (raw fish salad) includes various types of shredded veggies, a red envelope which contains pepper, a green envelope that contains five-spice powder, raw salmon, oil, plum sauce and crackers. There is a meaning behind each item and I’m not a good person to approach if you want to know more. ;p Apparently, we will say some well-wishes as we pour out each of them and as we toss, we shout all the blessings!
These are the very ‘rich’ new year goodies. They prosper the sellers during this period and of course, the consumers go home a tad poorer.
CNY is not CNY if there isn’t any home visitation. So everyone should be equipped with two mandarin oranges and have some good verses in mind as you need them to greet the elders. In our household, training starts young. 14 MO Faith learnt to hold two mandarin oranges on the eve and then totally forgot this skill on the actual CNY. Sigh!
The children get to meet their peers.
This is my family, marching to my grandma’s house. Yea, all of us, with kids in tow. What a sight.
Oh yes, during CNY, many take the opportunity to buy new clothes and wear them during this festive period. Folks (I mean women, mostly) will adorned themselves with bling bling. The hubs and I didn’t bother. We just didn’t have the time to buy clothes. For me, I’m just glad to be able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Hurray! Faith got herself one new set of clothes though but I think she is much contented with pass-me-downs. Anyway, what does she know, eh?
CNY is not CNY without red packets. The elders will bless the younger ones with these ‘hongbaos’ that contain $$$. The amount depends on how generous the giver is. Heh…
To be totally honest, I see little meaning in visiting many homes. I would rather family members gather at one place and BOND. No rush, just chill and have a game of Mahjong!
Kids can get bored with such visitation. So, bringing them to the playground perks them up!
It takes a toil on everyone during these few days of visiting. The little one, with her naps all messed up, just K.O. and didn’t wake up even with loud noises. Time to put the structure back again.
I’m actually glad that this busy period is going to be over soon. May the year of the horse be good to all!