Why Lunar New Year is such a great thing.
For once the city is quiet. No stress around, just a peaceful quiet night with only occasional trails of laughter lingering around.
For once, friends and families are not busy with the endless work circle but blissful enjoying the companionship, the riches around them with good food topped up for the occasion.
The spirt is high with the 2 days of national holiday. Even though who are down, have same time to themselves to tear.
I love Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year!
Non other celebrate this festival as festive as the Chinese.
We have the days before the New Year, going about dusting, clearing about unwanted stuff, the clutters in our life.
The grocery shopping for all the preparation for the feast. Also the SHOPPING! The Dressing up in our finest for the welcoming of the new year!
It felt everyone is celebrating! Even our other fellow Singaporeans from the other race are too!
People go on holidays and have a well deserve break.
For me, on the morning of each Lunar New year, my mum would prepare a bowl of Mee Suah (rice noodle) with a hard boiled egg in it.
Mee suah on the very first day of Chinese New Year represent longevity. The people of the Foochow (福州, Fuzhou) descendent have made it a tradition to eat a bowl of mee suah soup on the morning of Chinese New Year Day 1. It symbolize health and long life. Thus, another name for mee suah is longevity noodles. Mee suah soup is also eaten during birthdays and to new born in the family!
A little of the History of Mee Suah.
Mee suah is Hokkien/Fujian (福建) dialect, which literally means Mian Xian (面线) in Mandarin. Mee suah was first produced during the Southern Song Dynasty (南宋) and since has 800 years of history behind it. The length of Fuzhou/Foochow Mee suah (福州面线) could reach 18 centimeters, the longest among all noodles. The noodles are sold in dry form, usually hand made by Fuzhou/Foochow people in Sibu or Setiawan. It is made from wheat flour mixed with a little bit of salt, tapioca flour and egg. Raw mee suah is so brittle and it can break easily when subjected to stress as the strands are really thin.
Reference from http://lifeislikethat.com/?p=3645
After finishing our noodles, we would proceed with paying our respect to our parents and geting ready to head out for the day!
All in our newest fineries with two Mandarin orange representing well wishes.
The tradition to bring along two mandarin oranges for visiting during the Chinese New Year came from the name of the fruit in mandarin is ‘橘’, which sounds like ‘吉’, meaning ‘auspicious’.
Thus as you present everyone with the two oranges during Chinese New Year, it means ‘大吉大利’ (auspicious and prosperous).
The visiting start from the eldest on the family tree. Day 1 reserved for the direct families, my Grandparents firstly.. then to the extended families on the 2nd and 3rd onwards.
For me it usually goes from my grandfather from my dad side, grandmother from dad side, granduncle mum side and lastly my great grandmother’s house on mum side. Oh n visiting my dad’s boss’s place too!
2nd day visiting my other granduncle side and grandaunt from dad’s side before my aunties all visit my place!
Lastly one of the most well-observed custom of Chinese New Year! The Red Packet (Hong Bao)!
Chinese people love the color red, and regard red as the symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. Sending red packets is a channel for sending good wishes and luck. Actually, the significance of red packets is the red paper, not the money inside. Wrapping money in red packets is hoped to bring more happiness and blessing to the receivers.
Hahaha! So Now, lets visit more houses! 😉 Before the end of Chinese/Lunar New Year, to collect more Hong Bao (red Packets! ) :’D Hahah just kidding. Actually it is impolite to open a red packet in front of the person who gives you.
In China, the red packet is also called yasui qian (压岁钱 /yaa-sway chyen/), which means ‘suppressing ghosts money‘. Those who receive a red packet are also wished another year negotiated safely and peacefully.
Hopefully all these tradition would be here to stay and carried on to our future generations, not forgotten like so many of our other cultural traditions here in our tiny but diversely amazing Singapore. 🙂
Happy Lunar New Year everyone!
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