Back to work after a fairly busy Chinese New Year, mainly visiting, hosting and attending dinners with relatives.
Chinese New Year is a time to catch up with the happenings of relatives. Nowadays, due to work commitment and busy lifestyle, even relatives do not meet often, ad so CNY has become a time for renewing family ties.
For the younger generations, it is also a time to meet ad see the physical changes of their cousins and other relatives, since it is this annual meeting that they can see for themselves this rapid physical changes in their adolescent relatives. Without this annual meeting, they may meet in the street without recognising each other. Between good friends , it is also a way of renewing ties.
Chinese New Year is also about remembering the elders and parents. It is a time when many grown ups would take their old parents out for food delicacies. Often for these old parents, weak and feeble, this is the only time of the year that they would venture out of the house and enjoy a meal fit for ancient emperors.
For the first day, many would visit the temples and pray for better luck and the well being of the whole family in the coming year. In the old days, temples were perhaps the only place open durng the first day, as practically all shops and restaurants would be closed and there was really no where else to go.
Nowadays, however, most supermarkets and many shops are open, and you can see people shopping even during the first day of the new year. Many restaurants are also open for business and so there is really many options on what to do on the first day.
This is also a time for teenagers to go out together and visiting their friends’ families, which I wouold term an euphemism for collection of ang pows. With pockets full of money, they would go out and enjoy temselves together, watchig movies, playing games and so on.
More and more people are also spending their CNY overseas, with whole families joining tour groups. This is logical since for many , this is the only time that all can take leave together and travel together.
CNY is a holiday I always cherish, but I do miss my 2 children, one in the States and one in NZ, and this is also a time that i really miss my late parents.
This is also a time that I realise how lucky we are compared to people in the Subsahara Africa or even Myanmar.