Year of the Pig... OINK OINK!
I'm posting this way late. Chinese New Year fell on February 18th this year, and it's always a time for feasting, eating, and getting together with family and friends. Since I'm here, it's always been Satish and me, and we don't do anything out of the ordinary, so it was just another day for me. The good thing about being here is that we don't have to hand out "ang pow." These are red packets (red symbolizes "good luck" for the Chinese) with brand new money that married couples have to give to kids and unmarried people. The bad thing, of course, is missing all the festivities and food that goes hand in hand with the New Year.... of which one of the most important thing is having new clothes and shoes. Hmm...... I think I should keep up with that part of the tradition at least. ;)
Growing up, New Year's eve was spent with all my uncles, aunts, grandparents, and cousins on my dad's side, and we'd have a huge feast and then set of fireworks. New Year's day proper we would spent at my mom's parent's house. This is also the day that lots of people would have the "Lion Dance" performed at their house or place of business to herald in good fortune and to chase away the bad. Firecrackers are set off during this time, and the debris is left on the ground because it is believed that sweeping it away during the 15 days of CNY will be sweeping away all the good fortune.
The following days would be a flurry of activities, most of which consisted of visiting friends and family and getting more "ang-pows." :D
On the 15th day, we usually have another family dinner. This time, the main dish that is served is called "Yee Sang," which consists of thinly sliced raw fish with other crunchy food stuff. Lime juice is squeezed onto the fish, which cooks it, and then everyone joins in with chopsticks to mix up the ingredients. This is suppose to symbolize family togetherness. I would never eat the fish, cos well, it was raw starting out... but I'd pick out all the crunchy, yummy stuff.
Of course, the first few days of CNY are public holidays back home.... wish we observed that here!