The spirit of Chinese New Year

Something strange is happening to me. I swear I’ve gone nuts.

I have been really excited over this year’s Chinese New Year.

I mean, really.

The last time this festive season truly excited me was when I was, like, 12 years old.

As I grew older and the novelty wore off, CNY became an annoying routine. The noise and festive mood in the streets frightened me. The exchanging of oranges seemed crazy to me. The CNY countdown on TV irritated me.

Of course, I cannot deny that I love the ang pows and bak kwa and yusheng. But that doesn’t equate to liking CNY, does it?

This year, I felt the excitement about a week before CNY. I actually started looked forward to it. How freaky.

Two days before CNY, I had my first yusheng with my friends. After dinner, I wanted to go to the River Hongbao, but half the group didn’t want to. I can understand why. For as long as I can remember, I have avoided the River Hongbao like the plague. I have never been able to understand why anyone would want to squeeze about with sweaty bodies and have their eardrums violated by noisy ching chong music. What’s the fun or benefit in that?

So why do I suddenly want to go this year?

On New Year’s Eve, Elyxia and The Goonfather dragged me to Chinatown in the afternoon. They claim that it’s a yearly ritual for them to go check out the CNY bazaar. For me? Survival instinct dictates that I avoid Chinatown like the plague during the entire CNY period.

So why did I willingly go this year and even get all excited there?

After reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, I went to the famous Loyang temple with my friends to welcome the Fortune God and to count down to the CNY. I never liked going to temples because the suffocating incense and the crowds really bother me. And I already mentioned that I hate CNY countdowns.

So why did I organise a trip there this year?

On New Year’s Day, we all woke up at the break of dawn to get a nice headstart to the new year. For the past several years, I’ve had to wake up at about 8 am for CNY visiting and I’ve always hated that.

So why did I happily wake up at 5 am this year, and with only three hours’ of sleep before that?

This year, the Goonfather took me along to visit all his relatives. And we’ve been having dinner at a different relative’s home every night since the second night of CNY. I’ve always hated socialising and wild horses couldn’t drag me to my own relatives’ homes past the first day of CNY, much less somebody else’s.

So why did I actually enjoy all the visitings and dinners this year?

Last night, the Goonfather’s uncle hired a lion dance troupe to perform at his house, where a whole load of relatives was gathered for dinner. I also usually avoid lion dances like the plague because they’re noisy and it’s like, you seen one, you seen ’em all.

So why did I get all excited over it last night and watch it like I’ve never seen a lion dance performance in my life?

For the past many many years, CNY has meant doing the mandatory first-day visiting and then it’s stay home and eat bak kwa for the rest of the 14 days. And that was the way I liked it.

This year, I find myself doing everything I possibly can to milk every single day of the Chinese New Year for its worth.

Yes, I am absolutely nuts.

I don’t have any answers to all my “whys”, unfortunately, but I do have some theories:

1. I’m getting old and senile.
2. It’s the dog year this year and I love dogs (lame).
3. My new cheena name has turned me into someone else. I have suddenly become proud of and patriotic towards my Chinese origins. Huh?

Honestly, I don’t know why.

All I know is that I’m having the time of my life celebrating CNY this year. This change in me is freaky, but it’s also kind of nice. As much as I admit to being a cynic, I have to declare that being the excited child always always beats being the cool, unaffected teenager.

After all, what’s the harm in embracing life and living every minute like it’s your first?

None, I think.

The Goonfather wants me to blog about the fact that he’s going to win this year’s $10 million Hongbao Toto by the power of wishful thinking.

Because it’s CNY, I shall be nice and not tell him to “go blog yourself lah, shen jing bing”.

Because if he wins $10 million, he is going to give me a million to make a low budget movie. And another million to go shopping.

Or else.

10 thoughts on “The spirit of Chinese New Year

  1. Avatar

    Hehe, the Carlsberg ad? Could it be tat u hv been sucked into the CNY mood just by ur involvement in the advertisment? :p

  2. Avatar

    Wow, Goonfather is my type of MAN!!!!! Spank harder, Goonfather!!! Yes, harder!!!

    Back to the topic: I find CNY even more boring for me this year. 1 of my closer cousin got married, so less time to interact and chitchat….while another went over to UK for studies. And my older relatives are dying off one by one, which leads to less places to visit and collect angbao.

    The usual questions:

    1. Got boy/girlfriend or not ah?

    IF answer = YES,
    THEN relative triggers whyNeverBring();
    THEN relative triggers whyNeverFind();

    2. Getting married or not ah?

    IF answer = YES,
    THEN relative triggers whenGettingMarried();
    ELSE IF answer = “NOT YET”
    THEN relative triggers whyNotYouAreNotYoungLiao();
    ELSE IF answer = “No Girlfriend”
    Then relative calls 1

    Chinese New Year…….

  3. Avatar

    Ruok: Don’t you know the law of equality? What belongs to the man belongs to the woman. What belongs to the woman belongs to the woman only. =P So if he gives me $2M, that’s mine. The rest of the $8M we share. Keekekek.

    Sunny: Um… I don’t think so. I’m trying to forget the carlsberg ad, as it is. Haha.

    Elyxia: That is possible. But love or not, I could never be persuaded to go Aerospace or any computer exhibition!!

    Mother: Wahahahaha! Next time, to avoid being asked awkward questions, you ask them other embarrassing questions first. Catch them off balance until they forget to ask you. :P

  4. Avatar

    Ewww Mother! VB coding! Use Java leh … :P

    Qiaoyun : We shall see ba :P One year ago, I don’t think you’d imagine yourself going to CNY bazaar on chu xi, going to Loyang TuaPekGong, going for dinners at relative’s places every night, etc … /grin

    Well, I’m glad you’re (finally) seeing all the *fun* in CNY! 7 more CNY days to go, live it up, gal! :D

  5. Avatar

    Because you were English-speaking and have westerns influence, so you may feel bore or annoying about CNY, the chinese, whist the older ones do feel excited for it. However, as a chinese, I have to celebrate this 5000 year-old festival no matter how sian I am.

  6. Avatar

    Tell me you’re excited when it’s your turn to give out the ang pows.

    Anyway, I’m always excited to talk to my whole hordes of cousins. Let’s see… I’ve met 11 cousins, 1 “cousin-in-law”, 4 “grand nephews” (cousin’s children). Think 6 are absent… And that’s just my mother’s side, not including my sisters and sister’s brood.

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