The Chinese lunar year of the dragon is upon us. The dragon symbolizes power,strength and good luck
To me, the occasion consists of 3 separate parts.
Part 1 : Beginning preparations.
The Chinese New Year celebrations involve large gatherings of family members. It is a time for reunions and for most families, it is also the best time to catch up on the latest happenings. Before all this can happen, there must be preparations. Chinese New Year preparations must involve the color Red and lots of it. We have red lanterns, red Chinese banners and even the chopsticks and plates used at the dinner table should be red.
Recently I went to the Pulau Tikus( Mouse Island in English, Don't ask me why it's called by that name) market ( Google Map) to get all the necessary ingredients for the big feast ahead. This involved me getting up at 6 in the morning and going to the market which I rarely ever do on other days.
Here's what it was like (Apologize for the blurry pictures, I wasn't standing entirely still for my Iphone to focus itself)
Entrance to the market was sealed off with tape similar to those "Police Do Not Cross" types. This is to stop cars from going in and creating a huge traffic mess.
After slipping past the blockade unseen, I was amazed to see the market already filled with people shouting orders for meat, prawns, and vegetables. This was about 7.10 am.
The shopping basket filled to the brim. I swear it weighs near a thousand kilos.
Had some nice breakfast after all that rigorous shopping. Does this local dish look good to you?
Part 2 : The Omm Nom Nom
Ingredients don't taste and smell nearly as good compared to when their fully cooked and ready to be stuffed into our bellies. This is what my mum cooked up for the family. Frickin' delicious
Part 3 : The Moolah
After the gathering of family members are down, people leave for the night and return the next day for more gossiping and sharing stories. Kids and adults who are not married get to have their "Ang Pau"(Red packet) that is filled with money. Provided your relatives aren't stingy people.
How about your "bounty" for this year? Do you have red packets stuffed with thousands of dollars inside? Collecting red packets is not limited to the Chinese only. If you aren't Chinese but have Chinese friends, then what are you waiting for? Go pay a visit!