Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014 - Part 1

Our Chinese New Year is typically divided into three parts: the first part is spent with Richard's parents - this is over the eve of Chinese New Year and the first two days of Chinese New Year. The second part is spent with my extended family, ie. my aunts and uncles on my mother's side. Their hometown is Ipoh so everyone in the family converges there, wherever they may be in the world. I lived in Ipoh for four years as a teenager so I also have some friends there. The last part is spent with Richard's parents again, this time with the rest of his family, including our children's cousins. Throughout the three parts, we visit other relatives and friends.

Today, I'm going to share photos from the first part of our trip, and there are a lot of photos so sit back and enjoy!

Here are the littles, showing their individual interpretations of the Gong Xi Fa Cai hand sign. Looks like we might have to practise this a little more...

Babydoll's outfit is so cute, don't you think? It was a gift from her nanny.

For the second year in a row, we bought Ryan's outfit from Giant Hyperstore. We left it a little late this year - not many designs or sizes left - but we managed to get a nice one, fortunately.

Buying a new jacket for Ryan at Adidas. This may count as a family photo, err... with two strangers photobombing us.

No prizes for guessing that we stopped by KFC after the bookstore.

I wanted to show you the next photo because Ryan, sitting at the back of the car, complained that the "X" in the "Gong Xi Fa Cai" was upside down. Don't challenge him on the alphabet - you'll lose. Heh heh.

The night before we left for Ipoh, we managed to meet up with Margaret's family. We had fireworks and sparklers, plus we set off the prosperity lantern.

Whether or not you believe in the symbolism of the prosperity lantern isn't really the point, I think. What's more important, at least to me, is that the tradition of lighting it and sending it off brings the family together. The grandparents will come out of the house, three generations huddle around the lantern, everyone waits excitedly for it to come alive and everyone cheers as it lifts off into the night sky. Then, as it disappears from sight, good wishes for the new year are exchanged, hugs go around, and there is genuine happiness in the air. Those are pretty good reasons to participate in this tradition, I think.  

Ok, here's a grainy family shot to end today's post. Part 2 tomorrow!


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