Friday, February 15, 2013

 Lunar Chinese New Year in 2013 :

today's CNY is quite different with most traditions lost with youth.  here's what i grew up with -

- a week before CNY, the house is springcleaned from top to bottom so that Gods are pleased with the cleanliness
-  the rice pot is filled to the brim to signify that we welcome the New Year with plenty
-  all male children and their families, must be home with their parents for the Reunion dinner on CNY eve
- after the Reunion dinner and through the first few days of CNY, firecrackers would go off, each home challenging the other with who lets off the most, of course, the wealthier you are, the more you can afford to let off.
- we are not allowed to sweep away the firecracker parchments on the ground, as the red means good luck and prosperity - the redder  your ground the more wealth you will obtain in the new year.  it was so exciting watching the firecrackers go off, with hands to the ears... people would twine the firecrackers around the fencing or perimeter of the home... the longer the firecracker the better!
- we are not allowed to sweep nor mop the floor on the 1st day of CNY as it signifies that we are sweeping away good luck.
- we are not allowed to speak negative words nor swear on the 1st day; we cannot anger the Gods you see, or we will incur bad luck through the new year
- everyone has to wear brand new clothes on 1st day of CNY to welcome the New year
- the family will visit each other's siblings who have started their own families; and children are not allowed to go out with friends - children have to be at home to welcome the relatives to show respect.  mumsy here rebelled when she was 15 years old and was promptly told off by the uncles through mum:)

i guess with modern thinking, most of these rituals are forgotten with city folks, but i guess it also lessens the impact of the season.  with the banning of firecrackers, it also reduced the excitement and the festive feeling - granted that it is a good move for safety purposes.

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