As the first day of the Lunar New Year fell on a Sunday this year, we were able to celebrate 3 days with family and friends instead of only 2 days.
The feasting and bingeing already began on New Year’s eve, as we tucked into sumptuous Pen Cai (or Poon Choy in Cantonese, traditionally served in porcelin pot for good luck and prosperity, stacked to the brim with delicacies such as abalones, sea cucumbers, dried mussels, dried scallops, my favourite Napa Cabbage, etc), glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf, and the usual steamboat goodies.
Matthew, displaying more and more of his mature personality, abstained from the CNY goodies earlier because “I want to wait until Chinese New Year then I eat, so I won’t fall sick”. For his reward, we let him eat whatever he wanted, and he did. But he, and Megan too, always asked the Man and I for permission if they wanted to eat any of the CNY goodies, and I take pride in that.
So that was how we spent the 3 days, waking up leisurely (7am, a bonus!), and taking our time to get ready for another day of visiting and eating.
First day of CNY. First time the kids are dressed in full, traditional costumes. Gong Xi Fa Cai! Unused to the greetings with Mandarin oranges, and lots of relatives, the kids were more subdued and shy than usual.
Second day, and the kids have transformed into the modern Chinese we actually are. Black is the new red, yo! Cheekiness has crept back into their veins.
3rd day. 4 days of of happy bingeing. The kids were enjoying dessert right after a heavy lunch of dim sum and noodles. Their reward for being well-behaved and patient throughout the long lunch while we caught up with friends we haven’t met for a while.
All too soon, the holidays have ended and things are back to normal today. Back to school and work we go, but at least the start of the Year of the Snake was generally a happy one spent with family and friends. To everyone, HUAT AH (local slang in Hokkien, means to prosper and have lots of luck)!!