Oh, how I love Chinese New Year! It’s my favourite holiday other than Christmas. But the DAY which I love best is Chinese New Year’s eve! This is the busiest day mixed with hard work and happy reunion dinner.
Why hard work? In the days coming up to the Chinese New Year (CNY), we will be busy cleaning up the house. It’s a traditional practice to throw away old stuff and welcome the new things in the new year. A good excuse to give the house a brand new look with some new furnishings and re-decoration of the house. Some of the old stuff in good condition are donated which makes the big clean up a more worthwhile project to work on.
Besides the cleaning up, every year I will make some simple new year decorations with the kids and hang them in the house, on plants and paste on the walls. This year, I have made some red packet fishes and simple lanterns with the kids. The kids love these simple crafts and I am too happy to have them involved.
This year we are a little late in cleaning up the house but we’ll complete everything on CNY eve. We cannot sweep the floor on the first day of the Chinese New Year, that’s not too auspicious. The eve will be the last day to keep the house spick and span. That’s the reason I have no photos to show you the decorations in my house. We are so busy! They are still on the floor and in the shopping bags! On the eve, we will have a fresh change of new bedsheets, clean curtains, and new pyjamas for the kids. Hence, prior to the new year, we are busy shopping for these new stuff and new clothes too.
On most years’ CNY eve, it coincides with my lunar birthday, but not this year though. That makes the day even more special and busier too. We have reunion lunch and dinner with our families on this day. This is such a meaningful dinner where everyone comes “home” to eat dinner together. After we are all married and moved out of the house, our reunion dinners are over at our parents house. So, this year, like many years and similar to many married couples, we are going to my in laws place for reunion lunch and my parents place for reunion dinner all on the same day. Oh, how I look forward to them! Not that we don’t meet for family dinners on festive occasions, but the food prepared on these reunion meals are the most sumptuous in the whole year! My in laws will cook delicious dishes for lunch and my mum will prepare steamboat dinner on top of her best dishes. Yum Yum!
After dinner, the kids will go out to play with “fire crackers”. Oops, Singapore banned fire crackers long long time back even when I was young. It would have been much livelier in China or Malaysia. Nevertheless, we enjoyed playing with the fire sparklers and I will buy glow sticks for the kids to play with their cousins.
Then it’s back to our own homes where the kids change into new pyjamas and count down to the Chinese New Year! Some people will join the crowds in Chinatown to feel the festive mood and hunt down last minute new year goodies sale. But we much prefer to stay home and enjoy the various countdown channels in the comfort of our home.
When midnight strikes, we wish each other a happy new year. Also, “Happy New Year” can be heard all over the otherwise quiet neighbourhood. That’s when Kel and I give 压岁钱 (literally means stop adding on to the age, it’s a red packet that parents give to their kids) to our still wide awake kids.
Then it’s off to bed to have our beauty sleep for visiting the next few days!
Kids “R” Simple wishes you a Happy Chinese New Year!!