22nd January 2023 Beena
Hello everyone, the annual Chinese New Year (CNY) is back, and with that comes festivities and feasting💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽. As this is the year of the Rabbit, I did mine using colour pencils. I was pretty happy that I could create that furry look😆😆🐰.
After all these years, I noted that CNY here is unique. At the family reunion dinner, I asked those at the table if celebrations in other parts of the world were similar. To my surprise, it is different elsewhere. Let me share my thoughts on CNY here🤔🤔. By the way, CNY is called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival in many parts of the world.
The earliest recorded tradition of CNY began with the Shang Dynasty 3500 years ago with Nianshou, the yearly beast terrorising villagers by eating livestock. One day an older man appeared and reassured the villagers that Nian was afraid of red lanterns, red colour and loud noise produced by the cracking of bamboo on fire (the earliest form of firecrackers)😆🤩🤩. Since then, the Chinese have celebrated the new year CNY with red colour fearlessly.
What is uniquely different here is that after the family reunion dinner that I am fortunate to be invited to🙏, the fireworks start and go on for a few hours up to 2 to 3 am. The next day, the vicious feasting begins. We get to gorge on all types of food that is uniquely non-Chinese. Here, we get to eat curry (Indian origin), rendang (Malay/ Indonesian origin), Peranakan food, and various types of cakes (Western heritage) and kuehs (desserts). As the Chinese are busy preparing for the CNY, the other communities help prepare multiple types of food. It makes such visits exciting as we get to eat a diverse platter of food. Then we compare the number of houses we visited (a sign of popularity😆😆😆). The elders will give angpows to children and singles. In addition, the whole place except supermarkets shuts down and hence there is no traffic jam🤣🤣. Hence CNY here is a community celebration, making it unique😊😊.
These are my observations, and I would love to hear what others think. Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year) to all my Chinese friends and readers. May the Year of the Rabbit bring peace, joy, happiness, excellent health, and unity to this world🐰🐰🐰🙏.