Monday, February 02, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

25 January 2009

After a successful event at the market the day before, I had a great rejuvenating rest.

I managed to make the karaoke system working and started to sing a few songs as the steamboat dinner was being prepared. It is the tradition of every Chinese to enjoy reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. We have always adhered to this practice. I remember Grandma would always cook great Hakka dishes, with the help from my relatives. There were so many of us that we needed to take several shifts to eat at the table.

This year, my family and I watched an exciting Ip Man film as we dipped our utensils into the steamboat.

Also on the eve of Chinese New Year, there is a practice of 守岁(shou sui). It involves staying up late into the night. There is a belief that doing so would increase the longevity of the parents. I think this is related to the legend which says that the mythical beast 年 (nian) would come by during the new year and to guard against it means staying up late. Even though it passes out as a good story to coax young children, but I strongly believe in 守岁 and I do it every year. This year, I slept at 6am on Chinese New Year's Day.

From Wikipedia,
守岁(守歲) (Shou Sui) occurs when members of the family gather around throughout the night after the reunion dinner and reminisce about the year that has passed while welcoming the year that has arrived. Some believe that children who Shou Sui will increase the longevity of the parents.
一夜连双岁,五更分二年 means that the night of New Year's eve (which is also the morning of the first day of the New Year) is a night that links two years. 五更 (Wu Geng – the double hour from 0300 to 0500) is the time that separates the two years.

26 January 2009

Went to visit my Grandma at Aunt's place. We ate vegetarian dishes as a usual practice on the first day of Chinese New Year.

My little cousin, Felica, is so cute, always giving me a signature blank stare. I was heartened when she patted on Grandma's hands and told the maid that Grandma was her Papa's Mummy. When Grandma coughed, she even patted on her chest. I think Grandma would be so happy to have such a kind granddaughter.

And yes, it rained on Chinese New Year.

27 January 2009

Mother, Lin Qiang, Shi Hui, Baohui and I went to my fraternal Uncle's place for a New Year Gathering. As per past years, we had steamboat lunch.

The house was very crowded. Uncle Roland is a distributor for Chang Lao beer and brought some for everyone to sample. It was made with mineral water instead of tap water and thus the beer tasted sweet.

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