This is the word that keeps popping up during Chinese New Year this year.

Every year, it is our family's tradition to have reunion dinner at my house. Prior to that, it is also a tradition for my whole family (actually its only my mum) to buy lots of food and CNY goodies. It is her tradition to wake up early in the morning on CNY eve to prepare for the reunion dinner.

Each year during Chinese New Year eve, it is my cousins' tradition to arrive way before the reunion dinner so we can play some exciting board games. In the previous years, we played board games like Clueddo, Sabotuer, Monopoly Deal, Angry Bird and Citadel. This year, in addition to these games, we played Munchkin. Actually, the playing of board games is a recent tradition that evolved from physical chasing games like block catching and hide-and-seek.

Chinese New Year Celebration when I was 4. At Grandma's house..

On Chinese New Year Day, it is our tradition to visit our Grandmother at her house. It is also a tradition all of us catch a movie at Balestier Plaza (Which is just opposite her apartment) together after dinner. When we were much younger, say when I was 10, it's our tradition to play catching at her condominium's playground.

Day two of Chinese New Year - Our family's tradition: Gather at our first aunt's house. Normally, we don't have much activities planned. However, during recent years, we started incorporating loy hay during this day after dinner. I remember it is our tradition to play block catching (We're really healthy kids right) and sparklers after dinner. For our parents, it is a tradition for them to gamble after dinner.

After three wholesome days of celebrations, it is normally back to work/ school as per normal. But things were a little different when I was in China during CNY 2 years ago. Back in China, we had 15 days holidays! So during this time, I get to enjoy the holidays by travelling around China. (Though the trains and domestic flights would normally be packed during the first and last few days of CNY.

On a side note, I think 15 days of holidays is a necessity for the PRC because many of them left their hometowns for job opportunities in first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. Many of them did not have a chance to go home for the entire year.

Chinese New Year is therefore a treasured opportunity for them to go home to spend time with their loved ones.

Playing toys at eldest auntie house. I was probably 10

So, after spending a year in China and of course, as I grow (slightly) older, Chinese New Year takes on a new meaning for me. I understood how transient life is and probably after a few decades, the people in my family is going to change. I am very blessed to have amazing family, cousins and relatives. We don't hang out everyday but we know we are family and family will be there for each other. 

Also, I learnt to better appreciate traditional Chinese wishing like 恭喜发财,万事如意,心想事成,身体健康...etc. So this year, I don't want to wish you 恭喜发财 (Of course it's good to be prosperous)

I want to wish you things I find important at this point of my life: 身体健康, 出入平安, 心想事成!

Do cherish your traditions and try your best to keep them. The only constant in life is change. But, if we keep changing without upholding any traditions in life, then perhaps, we would have little or no basis or foundation to build our worldview upon. 

Comments (4)

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  • u look so cute when u were younger~~~
  • i cried reading..
  • wow! that's so cool!
  • a heartfelt blog entry <3<3<3