Saturday 31 January 2009
Tuesday 27 January 2009
These are traditions that have been passed down in my mother’s family. These traditions are not exclusive to our family. They are practiced by most.
A popular one is the giving of ‘angpow’/red packet. Once married, prepare to give angpows (red envelopes with money) to all friends and relatives who are unmarried and younger than you.
I remember when my sister and I lived with our grandparents, my eldest aunt would tell us about some of the traditions which she observed:
Always cook plenty of food on the eve for the family reunion dinner because if you have leftover food in the kitchen when the ‘kitchen god’ inspects it, our house will be blessed with plenty to eat the rest of the year. Now, my mom would remind me that even if I am not in my own house during this period, I should have at least a pot of rice in the fridge.
Always wear new clothes during the new year and preferably in red as it is good luck. I know of a friend who will prepare new clothes for the first 15 days of the new year. Everything should be new, if you can afford it. I suppose it was a tradition from long ago when you would only buy new clothes and other personal items once a year.
Never clean house or sweep the floor after midnight on the eve of the new year or the first day of new year. All spring cleaning should be done before the clock strikes twelve. The superstition here is that if you sweep, you are sweeping away all your wealth for the year.
Always have rice vermicelli (mee sua) for breakfast on the first day of new year. It is good luck for a long life ahead (longevity).
Pay all your debts before the New Year.
My mom still practices all, as for me I will occasionally practice the first two. Basically whatever you do on New Year's Day reflects the rest of the year.
Chinatown on Chinese New Year Day
A great contrast to the night before.
Rachel's beaded mandarin orange.
Mandarin oranges signify wealth.
Thursday 15 January 2009
Saturday 10 January 2009
Since the first two pots which I bought are doing so well, I decided to get 4 more pots. Top photo shows the pot when I first bought it 4 months ago and bottom photo shows how well its doing now. I think it's the location of the pot near the window. The amount of morning sun it gets is really helping it grow and flower. Now the 6 pots I have really brightens up my day.
Thursday 8 January 2009
Tuesday 6 January 2009
I often think my brother and I have similar likes and dislikes. We were born twelve years apart, under the same Chinese zodiac animal and we also share the same zodiac with both our parents.
And just a few days ago I saw a lady embroidering such paintings at Chinatown Point. Very pretty. The lady would use silk threads and individually sew in the each brush stroke.
Sunday 4 January 2009
Friday 2 January 2009
Thursday 1 January 2009
The food we made and ate: Homemade curry puffs. I grew up making these, diced sweet potato, onions, prawns and curry powder wrapped within a dough which is then deep fried.
Chinese Lobak – Marinated pork wrapped in soy sheets and deep fried.
The balloon Christmas tree, giant snowflake and characters in the mall which I thought was creative and unusual.
The dessert we had on a hot afternoon called ice kachang / ABC (air batu campur). This is my mom’s favourite dessert. It is made with shaved ice, colourful sugar syrup, boiled sweet red beans, crunchy groundnuts, creamy sweet corn, palm fruit, evaporated milk and more.