Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year

Yes, that dreaded time of the year is here again. I'm talking about Chinese New Year.

I knew Chinese New Year was coming when everywhere I went, I saw red, red and more red. Nope, this is not a Chinese brothel. It's a pop-up selling Chinese New Year decorations.

I knew Chinese New Year was seriously round the corner when I saw dancing lions and twinkling lanterns on the ceiling in the food court. Nope, despite how movies often depict us Chinese, we aren't always surrounded by prancing lions and lanterns.

Despite all the signs that Chinese New Year was COMING, I was in denial. Suddenly on Thursday, we decided to get our shit together and braved the supermarket to buy mandarin oranges and some supplies.

Seems like everyone else waited till Thursday to go to the supermarket.

I managed to get my 4 mandarin oranges. I had to buy 5 because I couldn't get the machine to print a barcode for 4 oranges. I also bought tiny mandarin oranges because they look so cute. The 4 mandarin oranges are meant for my kids to give to the homes we visit. Although hubs and I aren't very traditional, there are a few traditions we follow. Buying 4 mandarin oranges is one of them.

The other tradition is getting new notes for ang pows. (red packet) Hubs likes to get the notes after his run but his sweat makes the notes all icky. I asked him to get the new notes like a normal human being but he insisted on doing it after his run. He did bring along a ziplock bag so the new notes are safe from his sweat. What a relief. I'm the one who has to stuff the money into the red packets.

There are some do's and don'ts for Chinese New Year. I don't really observe them because I think it's just superstition. Like you're supposed to put away sharp objects like scissors and knives. (cuts wealth) No laundry (wash away good luck) and a few others. I do avoid wearing unlucky colours like black only because the people I visit may get pissed off.

This year, I read in the papers that some employers sent foreign workers to queue up for bak kwa. (barbequed pork) Bak kwa is traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year. It looks to me like it's something that causes cancer so I avoid eating it but many people love it. To the extent that they send their workers to queue overnight at the stall. This is definitely a DON'T to add to the list. Employers who are so hard up for bak kwa need to do the queuing themselves.

This is bak kwa. It's a little bit like beef jerky but bak kwa is usually eaten within a few days after the barbecue while it's still moist and oily. It's horribly delicious so don't eat it.

We've already had our reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. (Friday) We've done the lo hei - tossing of salad for good fortune.

We've displayed the pomelo gifted by my MIL on the dining table. So I think we're all set for the Year of the Rooster. Everybody, we can talk cock all year long!

I Wish you a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year. Keep fit and stay healthy. (don't eat bak kwa)


Tammy said...

A Happy & Prosperous Chinese New Year to you Jane!

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