Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Are you an ox? I'm not - I'm a dragon. Apparently this is gonna be a good year for dragons. It should be a good year of oxen too, because it's their year.

My mum still keeps up the Chinese tradition of giving out lucky money to the "children" i.e. my brother and I, our respective partners and our respective children. But neither I nor my brother wish to keep that tradition going. Because if we did, we'd have to stay home all day to avoid other peoples' kids. And if we stick to giving money to the kids within the family we'd just end up swapping similar amounts of money (well, we'd hope it's similar amounts)

We don't let off firecrackers at Chinese New Year, mainly because I think it's illegal to use fireworks outside of Guy Fawkes' Night. But we do have a special meal. I suppose in a Chinese family, food-related traditions are probably the last to go!

But there's some touristy stuff going on in town next weekend - y'know, food stalls, a lion dance performed by a local cultural society, um...more food...

Anyway, I'd like to take TLM to the touristy Chinese New Year celebration so she can have a taste of what it's about. She's already done the food and gotten the red envelope (and got to hold it for exactly 2 seconds before I whipped it out of her hand and put it in my purse, because that money's going straight into her bank account). I'd quite like her to watch a bit of lion-dancing, see a few pretty girls in traditional costume, get sucked into a human tide of new-clothes purchasers (if you've ever been in Hong Kong during this time you'll know exactly what I mean)...

Us Chinese may be cheap drunks, but we're expensive eaters.


Nigel Patel said...

I don't think any fireworks would survive on our three-to-six inches (and counting) of snow.
I'm a boar, I should look that up.
Aren't there baby booms on dragon years?

donnasoowho said...

ah yes Happy Chinese New Year to you. Which i don't celebrate at all but the Chairman is insistent that we go celebrate in Chinatown with dumplings... It seems like a more celebrated event here in Melbourne... so you sort of can't miss it. I don't really remember it at all when I lived in Wellies?

I"m a Rabbit. By chance do you think that Rabbit's might be more predisposed to winning Lotto this year?

Leo said...

I'm a Tiger, grrr. I quite like the big evenings Auckland puts on at this time of year and we always try to make the Lantern Festival because we love the food, especialy Dragons Beard candy. And I agree about the lion/dragon dances, they are amazing and everyone should see one at least once.

Violet said...

nigel: about baby booms in dragon years - that sounds about right to me. Although, if you look at the characteristics for all the signs, they've all got some pretty good ones.

donnasoowho: it's only been in the last few years that CNY has been a public festival. It draws in the crowds, but it's not what you'd call authentic! I can't help you with the Lotto, sorry ;-)

Leo: if you're a tiger then we would not get on well - if the astrology is to be believed. I've seen the Auckland Lantern Festival on tv. It looks like lots of fun.I wish we had that.

Angela said...

Sounds fun. Especially the eating part. I think I am hungry all the time.