And so, in modern times, people decorate their homes with red Chinese characters (Luck, Wealth, Health, Prosperity, Longevity, etc.) and lanterns. Some even make an effort to purchase and play firecrackers (on the Eve, First Day and Last Day). It has also become a tradition for people to buy new clothes in the colour of red. Usually 3 days before the New Year, families would perform Spring Cleaning. The reason for so is to start fresh and welcome the luck the new year will bring. It is probably the most favourite holiday for the singles, as they are eligible to receive ang paos (red packets with money in it) from married relatives. In other words, a very wallet-draining festival for married people with many single relatives.
In my case, my family is no exception when it comes to cleaning our home. We did this on the week before the New Year as we had a large area of floors to wash, rooms to clean, curtains and bedsheets to change and wash, and getting rid of accumulated items. Our brand new and unused items that we have kept over the years were donated to a charity bazaar to raise funds for the less fortunate. One man's trash is another man's treasure, and doing charitable things would bring more merits, wouldn't it? Since my room is pretty neat and tidy most of the time (I am a stress-cleaner), I only ever need to reorganize my items. But, I will admit that I have a dangerous cupboard where I store all my make-up, costumes, props, materials and some of my parents' clothing. To anyone who opens the cupboard, I am not responsible for any of your injuries. Anyway, back to the story, I am pretty proud of myself because I helped out around the house more than I usually should, and I have aches and scars to prove it (I probably aged 10 years in the process as well).
On the Eve, I tagged along with my mum and went to buy ingredients for our humble steamboat dinner. We were still unable to finish the ingredients within the two days of having steamboat, even after buying less than we did in the previous year as we didn't want any wastage. Well, I guess our appetite has shrank, less to buy next year then. After dinner, I ran up to my room, throw on my old cheongsam and took a few pictures as a season's greeting to my Facebook page followers.
Okay, enough with the sentiments. My second aunt's treatment was contrast to my grandmother's. She is super kind and friendly, even my cousins who were there. Of course, my cousin's dog was very pleased when I stroke him for about 17 minutes while he was lying below my seat. What can I say, I do have an affinity with animals. After staying there for about an hour, we went to visit my second uncle and stayed for a while to chat. Well, my family were, I was asleep (unintentionally though!).
So that wraps up this year's Lunar New Year experience for me~ Definitely less angpau than the previous years, but as long the tour of duty was done, we are set and ready for a fresh new year.
Thanks for reading!