That time of the year is nearly here - when Chinese houses are decorated with red and gold paper with 'prosperity' and 'happiness' written on them; when those 'red packets' are being prepared with the dolla dolla; the markets are flooded with, what I would like to call, 'Imperial cooks' of each household, looking for the best ingredients for preparing the coming Chinese New Year.
Always such a beautiful and vibrant time.
Children and adults will be shopping to get 'new clothes' to wear for CNY celebrations - oh, and of course: Cheong sam!; and families get together to help the 'Imperial cooks' prepare the Reunion banquet held the night before CNY officially begins.
A week long of pure festive celebrations - the only time when the young ones can retaliate for breaking the curfew; eat to your heart's content; and may what usually is called noise be the 'sounds of happiness.'
The 'Lion Dance' held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(Photography Credits: xinhuanet)
It is also the time when married couples and the seniors see a decline in their income (lol), due to the red packets that they give out to the younger ones. (Poor grandma!)
Right about now(11.25pm), my grandma (who I'd like to call the 'Imperial cook') will probably be on her way to the market to buy things to prep for CNY (Malaysian time).
'Lian Gao', also known as 'Sticky cake' - A CNY favourite!
(Photography Credits: http://flickr.com/photos/ju-x)
I still remember, once upon a time, the whole family gets together and prepare all sorts of festive food - and we (the young ones) buzz off after doing so, so we didn't have to do the washing up!
Even the streets and neighbourhoods will be busy - and in some areas, the remnants of the Chinese firecrackers will cover the streets! Of course, how can I not mention the sounds of the drums for the Lion dance - when I was in Malaysia, I remember whenever we suddenly hear the sounds of those rhythmic drum beats being played in the neighbourhood, we would always run out and try find the Lion!
A shop selling CNY decorations.
(Photography credits: Chinatownology)
Chinese New Year - what a beautiful time; and in my opinion, Malaysia is the best place to celebrate Chinese New Year (I guess, Home really is where the heart is)- alongside our cultural counterparts: Hari Raya (The Malay New year) and Deepavali! Good old times, when I (and my cousins) would all round up our friends and invite them over - for food AND the red packets! ;)
Gong Xi Fatt Chai!
(Direct translation: Congratulations to Prosper!)