For those of you who don’t know, I’m 1/2 Chinese and Chinese New Year is probably one of the biggest festivals my family celebrates other than Christmas. I guess I’m not overly into the superstitions and folklore that go with the festival, but I do enjoy the family reunions and food that it brings.
I don’t think I’ve been home for Chinese New Year since I left Malaysia in early 2009 – so my last celebration at home would have been in 2008. This was a picture of me back then and boy was I skinny!
As I was looking at the photos, I found a gorgeous shot of my grandparents. I haven’t seen them since my wedding in 2011, but I do look forward to seeing them again this year.
We would have a lovely reunion dinner together on the eve of Chinese New Year (which was last night) and then there’d be lots of places to visit (or people coming to visit me). I would eagerly await these meetings with the hopes of increasing my bank balance (apart from the good company, of course).
It’s a bit different now because I’m now on the “giving” end of the red packet (ang pau) phenomenon. The tradition states that if you’re married, you have to give people ang pau – which is a red packet with some money. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t been back for Chinese New Year yet! If anyone comes to visit me here in Adelaide, I’ll give you one but only if you ask nicely!
I have a fundamental question though – how long do people get ang paus if they don’t get married? I know a lot of people are not getting married now, or at least, getting married later. And do you give people of the same generation as you ang pau, or just the generation below? Because if we’re giving the same generation as well, I think I’ll pok gai (go broke).
This year, we’re just going to have a low key Chinese New Year because it’s really hot and I’d rather not take Jacob out too much. This is the only Lion Dance he’s going to be watching this year.
Happy Chinese New Year everyone!