Here at 2 Cents, we’re always looking out for new ways to revamp our practices – but some things should remain tradition, and that includes Lunar New Year festivities.
Chinese New Year is often a jubilant occasion, but each person and each family celebrates them just slightly differently. As the designated non-Chinese in the office, I sat down with a few of our team and asked them what they usually do to celebrate the Lunar New Year!
Chinese New Year is usually a time for family reunions. I also enjoy feasting on food throughout the celebration. Some of the dishes that [I] usually eat are cookies, kuih kapit and Hakka dishes. Some of my favourites are the mustard greens stew and braised vegetables with red fermented beancurd. [Yum]
Usually during the eve of Chinese New Year, we’d have a big reunion lunch or dinner with family and would stay up till midnight after to set off firecrackers and fireworks. On the day of Chinese New Year, we’d do the usual ritual of greeting family and relatives alongside giving presents. [I would] give angpau to parents, single friends or relatives and children. More fireworks and we’d gather to watch lion and dragon dances. We’d go to the temple to pray and finish the day with drinks and some good ol’ fashioned gambling.
I usually gamble with my family. We don’t normally put in big amounts [in the pool] for gambling, but we always feel happy when we do this [together] as a family. Sometimes when my siblings and I lose our money, our parents will be kind enough to give us our money back – but if we win, they won’t ask for their money back.
[Since] my birthday falls on the 4th day of Chinese New Year, I’m going to eat a lot of mandarins – almost the equivalent portion of a [whole] birthday cake.
I will go back to my hometown to reunite with my family! Usually during CNY a lot of [my] relatives will come back to our hometown and gather around to celebrate – like a big family.
- Zong Ci
It seems like Chinese New Year, among other things, with its myriad of symbolism involving fortune and prosperity, is also a joyous occasion that celebrates the reunification of families, relatives and loved ones. Like any celebration, the top three most important essentials are food, alcohol and people you love.