Monday, February 15, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

Translation: Gong Xi - Congratulations; Fa Chai - Prosperity

Chinese New Year is all about getting together with families and friends. During childhood, the jolly season would mean getting a lot of red packets *ANG POWS* and playing with fireworks! For some adults, it's the season for challenging their luck in gambling.

I remember when I was about 8 years old; my grandparents would have a small casino at home. After dinner, the casino session will kick off and all family members will gather around to gamble away. For us kids, we will try not to burn our fingers with harmless fire crackers plus lots of sweet drinks and cookies! It is also a must to eat something sweet on the first day of Chinese New Year to symbolize sweetness for the entire year. My grandmother will prepare sweet dessert for the family and few years back, I made "tong shui' for everyone.

Those were the days where everyone will look forward to the Chinese New Year celebration. However, this year seems to be different for me. There were no gambling, no fire crackers, no daddy around... It was certainly the first year we are celebrating it without him.

Our CNY day 1 tradition: We had a small tea session at home where the young will serve tea to the elder and wish them well throughout the year. Most importantly is to get the auspicious red packet which symbolizes luck.

It is always a tradition to wear red during CNY. Red is consider a lucky colour that will ward off bad luck. It is also a basic fundamental need to wear something new on the 1st day of CNY to symbolize wealth and prosperity. Some families will wear all their jewelery to look wealthy.

There are a lot of dos' and don't for the auspicious celebration; for me, the most important of all is to celebrate with simple happiness. There is no amount of new clothes and jewelery that is able to replace the feeling of a complete happy family during the celebration.

When I reflect back to previous Chinese New Year occasions; it is not what I wear or how many red packets I received, nor was it the decorations or the amount of food we had. It was the smile, the laughter, the conversation, the love & happiness we shared as a family that is kept fondly in memory.

This year, we celebrated at my granny's new home with my uncles and aunties. It was truly an amazing session of non-stop talking, non-stop eating, and non-stop dramas from the dogs! My mom was busy cooking delicious dishes for the family and spent quite a lot on food ingredients. As for me, I was trying very hard to stay cool on these extremely warm days and spent most of my time capturing photographs of the celebration.

Here are some happy moments caught on camera!

My 2nd day of CNY: Trying to capture "jumping for joy" moment...

Aaahhh... cup noodles and cold weather... purrrr-fect!


Free advertisement of Cup Noodles... Maggie should pay me for this!

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

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