on Feb 12th, 2007
Chinese population all over the world will be celebrating Spring Festival (or Chinese New Year) on Feb 18. It is the year of the pig according to the Chinese Zodiac. This year Jim and I will be in Penang and Singapore for the celebrations. It will be our first time home for Spring Festival. My sisters and I are excited and looking forward to the family reunion.
Chinese New Year is my favourite holiday. It is like thanksgiving, I love thanksgiving. Away with all the gifts nonsense, and back to just sharing a lovely meal with family and friends. When I was little, I used to stay up all night on CNY eve to hear the red fire crackers go off at midnight. It is a very old chinese tradition to welcome the new year and also to rid the home of bad spirits. On CNY eve, my dad (very traditional), will ask us all to put on new cloths before going to bed. Another part of getting rid of old and bad spirits ;-).
I have always enjoyed all the little practices even though it may be silly. It is the one time in the year when the day is very different. My paternal grandfather came from China but on my maternal side of the family, my sisters and i are the 5th generation in Penang.
I think I have grown up to believe that chinese people are very superstituous on CNY. One is not suppose to wear black during CNY because it is the sign of mourning. We invite our ancestors spirit to join us for the celebration. We fold bags full of incense paper (represents money in the afterworld), and burned them for the departed love ones. Married couples will give “hong pau” (red packets will small amount of money) to children. The younger members of the family visits the elder family members normally bringing sweets and mandarin oranges with a red paper to wish good luck.
All I know is I can’t wait to be home in Penang. My mom is planning all sorts of delicious dishes. Jim and I look forward to days with temperature above 60F (summer high today for NZ). Some sunshine and a little home cooking makes a whole world of difference. I just can’t wait.
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