My Blogger Diary #3 - Chinese New Year

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Monday!



My Blogger Diary is a new feature that I created just to share my random "escapades" and adventures as to fulfil my 2015 resolutions of being more active in blogging and self-fulfilled! It can be book or non-book related relating to an amazing moment or a heartbreaking incident that you are prepared to share with us :) If you are interested, you are always welcome to create a post of your own. I will be ecstatic if you could spread the feature around because I aimed to reach out to the blogging community and share our moments together, making it a happier place than it already is.


This post was inspired by Lola @ Lola's Ramblings (she's an awesome and amazing friend!) - I've featured her as my blog's February Blogger of the Month and you can check out her interview and guest post here

So I have been away from the blogging world for almost a week, but not completely non-existent! Firstly I would like to apologize if I have missed out some of your replies or comments and also for my delayed reply to your emails. I have been really busy with travelling (those long hour drives) and the internet connection back at my grandparents' house were poor so I had difficulty going online.  

Anyhow! 

In one of the emails Lola and I had exchanged, she had mentioned that she was interested to know more about Chinese New Year - CNY for short- and I thought I would dedicate this post to her, and also to all you guys for just being here! :) 

Similar to the western version of the New Years, Chinese follows the lunar calendar when it comes to counting the days of the year, and each year is symbolized by 12 different animals -2015 happened to be a goat year!- This is where things start to get interesting because this is where we get our zodiac signs from! I was born in the year of 1994 hence my zodiac sign is a dog (which explains why I behave like a dog sometimes :P). The cycle will repeat itself again every 12 years. You can read more about the 12 zodiac signs here.

12 zodiac signs 

The first day of CNy is termed as 初一 or chu 1 if we were to pronounce it in English, and this year's CNY started on the 19th of February. Typically, my family and I would travel back to our hometown (which is approximately 7 hours away) for our reunion dinner, which is held a day before CNY. Consider it a thanksgiving dinner the Chinese way! My grandmother would cook a huge feast to feed a group of hungry monsters and this is the time where all of my cousins and relatives came home to celebrate the new years. We are literally giants cramping in my grandmother's small single story house! 

My grandmother cooking to feed her hungry beasts.


The First day - 
初一

    
   
Since my grandparents always hosts the CNY celebrations, our first day will always involve staying at home and entertaining guests who visit our place. Furthermore, my grandmother will once again prepare lavish dishes to feed a whole kingdom. 

But before we can start eating, we will first pray to our ancestors and give them the priority to eat first as a mean of giving our respects. 

We laid out a table in front of the altar


Apart from that, we will also have a once a year dish - lou sang where all of us will gather around the dish and start mixing it together using our chopsticks while wishing each other (and ourselves) a joyful and prosperous new year. 

video

Sorry for the blurry pic! 
And that basically concludes our first day, nothing much to do actually :P 

The second, third and forth day - 初二, 三

And now it's our turn to visit our relatives! 

This year, my aunt is having an "open house" at her new home, I was lucky enough to have the chance to put up a night at her place. 


We also have the tradition of playing mahjong every CNY! Honestly, I sucked at it :P 


Furthermore, visiting relatives are one of the best ways to acquire these red packets, which is one of the reason why I love CNY :P If Christmas showers you with gifts, CNY showers you with cash. -Haha! awkward attempt to make a joke, again- However, these red packets, or angpaus are only given to those who are unmarried, one of the advantage of still being a kid! 

I really love some of the designs of the red packets! Will be adding them to my collections. 
Just something random, my aunt has 3 cute and super friendly dogs named Bibi, Cody and Ginger. I missed them already :( 


That's a lot of hopping around and eating for those 3 days. 

The fifth day - 初五

It's time to head home :(

Normally the CNY celebration lasts for 15 days with the last day being the Chinese Valentines or Chap Goh Meh, but as school breaks only extends up to 1 week, we have no choice but to head home early ;(

Before we start off our journey, we visited the temple as our final stop. One thing really cool about this temple is that it is situated in a huge cave! 


The statue of Guan Yin - Goddess of Mercy

Chinese held a strong belief for their religion as they believe that praying to the heavenly gods will help them to maintain a peaceful life. This is why it is a norm to go to the temple during the CNY, to pray for good health and fortune. 

That's all I have to share on this post :) If you are interested to know more about the Chinese culture you can leave a comment down below and I will try my best to answer you :) Being a Eurasian born to a Christian father and Chinese mother, I have a pretty good exposure to both cultures, and I am grateful for that! 

Finally, I would like to shoutout to Lola for being the inspiration for this post! 

Have a lovely week peeps! 

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2 comments

  1. Great post and thanks for dedicating it me, I always find it so interesting to learn about other cultures and customs like this where I know almost nothing about. I have heard of the Zodiac signs, I am a Horse if I remember correctly.
    And OMG all that food looks delicious! Those dogs of your aunt are so adorable! I find it really interesting the celebration normally takes 15 days. I never heard of celebrations that take so long, but it sounds like you got the most out of hat week vacation you had :). Thanks for sharing this chinese tradition and how you celebrate it with us!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting and stopping by Lola! Yes, it's also a fact that amazes me because it was such a festive celebration.

      You are most welcome! It was you that made this post happen ;)

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