In recent years, I started to lose the festive mood of Chinese New Year. I really missed the old days, when my grandparents were still around, when I was all young and carefree, when Chinese New Year Eve meant having fun with my cousins. Times change… people change… but my wish for a grand festive season don’t change. Everything was not the same when family members start to leave, and you wouldn’t get to celebrate the New Year for that year. Three people meant three years.
I was glad my family still managed a small reunion dinner with my relatives after the death of my grandfather.
In secondary school, my friends would compare their “angbao” money, to see who get the largest amount. I was secretly jealous of people who were able to receive sums up to a thousand dollars. And me? Some miserable $180 or so. I didn’t complain, for I knew the significance and meaning of receiving the “angbao”. The adult is obliged to give you the angbao only if you have pay your respects to him or her, so I really disapprove of kids who just sit there and wait for relatives to drop the money into his or her pocket. I will always ask my mother not to accept any angbao on my behalf if she visits her friends or relatives when I did not go. The origin of this practice was to protect the child from “evil spirits”. Specially made “money”, not the ones used for trade, was wrapped in red paper and given to the child in the past.
I still remember the half-day celebrations in school where there were performances by CCAs and teachers. I performed lion dance in my secondary school in sec 4! Here’s a video! I was the red lion head entering from the right. どうぞ!
My new year eve today? 3 hours of lessons and some spring cleaning. And.. dinner alone.
Incidentally, do you know that the Chinese New Year is not the day when the zodiac sign changes? That means tomorrow will not be the year of the horse. I will explain everything in my next post!