Tangerines and red packets

Posted by ~Summer~ on January 23, 2012
in , ,

Since I was a kid, I've always loved Chinese New Year.

I feel more dynamic, bubbly and vibrant when CNY is around the corner. I can't help it but sing to CNY songs like "每条大街小巷, 每个人的嘴里, 见面第一句话, 就是恭喜恭喜" even when I bathe. I love to watch the countdown shows on New Year's eve even though they keep repeating the same songs, same stunts and same horoscope predictions. And yes, I even love squeezing and squirming through the crowd in Chinatown just to feel the festive joy.

It's quite inexplicable, even to me.

Before I got married. I thought maybe it was because I could get a few days off from work, or because I could feast like an emperor and munch on goodies without feeling culpable, or even more likely, because I could go around collecting red packets and for once in a year, feel that I'm a rich kid.

The thing is, even after I got married (and it was my turn now to distribute red packets), I still loved every bit of CNY. There's something about it that just warms my heart and evokes a great sense of joy. I guess I figured out why.

CNY is a time to reconcile and put down bygones and grudges.

A time to sincerely wish for peace and happiness for your loved ones.

A time to gather, unite, laugh, enjoy and appreciate having what we call family and friends.

My past three CNYs haven't really been the same since they were spent in Sweden. I would say it's more peaceful, simple and hushed. No, we don't have firecrackers, countdowns, lion dance or streets adorned with red lanterns. The good news is we have our fellow friends from Singapore, we form our own reunion and steamboat sessions, we have a huge gathering where we lao yu sheng, give red packets and sing CNY songs.

Come to think about it, it's Angel's 3rd CNY already! I like to hold what we call a mini family photo shoot on CNY. Let's see how time has flown.

This was in 2010, the Year of the Tiger, when Angel was less than 3 months old. She couldn't do anything much back then and I could basically dress her up in any way I wanted to. Look, her hair was still standing up then, kinda reminded us of Guile in Street Fighter.

This was in 2011, the Year of the Rabbit, when Angel was 14 months. She could hold the tangerines, cling tightly to red packets and make the "Gong Xi Gong Xi" gesture whereby you clasp your hands together and shake them up and down.

This was newly taken, symbolising our hopes for the Year of the Dragon and more happy times ahead. Angel had turned two and not only could she pose well and smile for the camera, she could also say "新年快乐" (Happy New Year) and repeat any string of new year greetings we say. Her hair could be tied into plaits and yes, she fits into her cheongsam much better this time round!

So, what am I doing on New Year's Eve this year? Well, I'm having my most unique experience at subzero temperatures in Kiruna and I just stepped out from the awe-inspiring Ice Hotel (Yes, a hotel built entirely out of ice and snow!). My reunion gathering was, for the first and probably last time, eating reindeer meat while huddled around a campfire. Definitely an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind CNY for me.

So, all the way from Sweden, here's wishing everyone a happy and prosperous year ahead.

新年新希望, 祝大家在新的一年里能天天开心!


  1. That must be so much fun to celebrate! What's even better is that you can pass this tradition on to your daughter. :)

  2. @Sean Marie
    Hihi, yes, CNY is always lots of fun! Even though we are not celebrating it in a traditional way, I'm still loving every moment of it! =)

  3. What a beautiful post, the pictures are great! I truly enjoy reading your blog so I'm giving you the Versatile Blog Award.
    Check it out: http://inlovebythebeach.blogspot.com/ :)

  4. Wah!!! So cool, it must have cost you and your hubby a bomb to stay in an ice hotel, but well, it's a once in a lifetime experience.

    Happy new year!

    PS. You guys stay in shape quite well!

  5. hey peeps, thanks for the comments! Tess, heartfelt thanks for the award! Momto8, thanks for the wishes! Eddie, oh yeah it would have cost quite a bit but we didn't stay overnight because they said it might be too cold for Angel. =) Happy CNY to you and your family too!


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