It’s Chinese New Year, a time of celebration and togetherness. This and K’s birthday are probably the two times of year that I most regret not living close to my family.
Around Christmas time, I always make it to Cali for at least a week with the kiddo, and my oldest sister and I have been celebrating Thanksgiving together for the past 16 or 17 years (with one or two exceptions). Besides, those holidays are important, but as established earlier, I don’t have the strength of memories associated with those holidays that others do. (As an aside, why haven’t you all told me about your favorite traditions?!)
But Chinese New Year…This I remember.
There could be several reasons for this:
- As a kid, you get little red envelopes called lai see which contain money.
- It’s everyone’s birthday party.
- You get to play with things that go bang.
- There’s food. Lots and lots of food.
- There’s a book about it. And I’m in it. For real. (See below)
But to be honest, I think I really like Chinese New Year because my grasp on Chinese culture is tenuous at best. Chinese New Year is the one time that I have a decent grasp of what’s going on and what I’m supposed to do. And it so neatly wraps up so many of the things I associate with being Chinese into one little package.
It’s also just a lot of fun, particularly when you have a kid. Next week, we’ll go down to Chinatown to see the lion dance and partake in the rest of the festivities. I expect to hear K say, as she often does, “Don’t be scared, Mumma – it’s just a lion.”
So on this Chinese New Year, K and I both wish you a hearty Gung Hay Fat Choy.