Happy Lunar / Chinese New Year

I hope everyone will have a healthy and prosperous year.

A couple of days ago, I called my uncle and aunt in Hong Kong to wish them a happy new year.  It took 3 attempts before he figured out who I was.  I kept yelling “Wei… wei” (hello)  but I guess he didn’t hear me or didn’t recognized my voice.  The 3rd time, he figured out who I was.  I greeted him with the traditional kung hey fat choy.  He started talking rapidly in Cantonese.  I gave up after 2 seconds.  I listened politely and when he finished I asked him how he was doing.  He paused.  I thought maybe he already just told me how he was doing.  But I managed to understand a bit more of what he said this time. Eventually the phone got passed on to my aunt.  I was a bit sad after we finished chatting.  Both are elderly and have health issues.  Sigh…

The next night, I went to J’s place for dinner with his extended family.  He spent the entire day shopping and cooking.  We had lobsters, shrimps and scallops with veggies, steamed crab, roast pork, bbq pork, chicken, shitake mushrooms with the “hairy” moss and abalone, fried tofu and a few traditional family dishes that I can’t translate.  We rested afterwards and went to the temple.  It was packed and the air was heavy with the smell of incense.  The volunteers kept everyone moving efficiently.  The temple had a large basement hall that had a fair and that was jammed.  It was hot and hard to move around.  Eventually someone opened a door to let him some cold air.

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One of the things we do is hang our “wishes”.  The wishes are those round red tags that are purchased.  They are then hung on those pegs.  Each year the temple does something a bit different.  There were food and drinks being sold but I was still so stuffed from dinner.  It was a late night but it was good to do this and celebrate my culture.

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13 thoughts on “Happy Lunar / Chinese New Year

  1. Happy New Year to you, Matt! I hope it is a very prosperous and healthy and joy-filled year for you! 🙂 What a wonderful celebration of the new year! Hanging the “wishes” sounds like a beautiful tradition. 🙂 And the food sounds amazing! 🙂
    It is sad when we realize our aunts and uncles are getting up in age and not doing so well. 😦 It was so nice of you to call your aunt and uncle. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  2. J is amazing to have prepared and cooked all that food! Whoa, I’m amazed! I might have been a bit slow on the uptake, but sounds like J is a good cook! Your CNY sounds very Chinese-y and that’s very admirable 🙂

    • It’s one of the few times a white washed guy like me gets in touch with my culture. You’re going to be super immersed in it later this year. Yeah, J is a pretty good cook. He buys live crab and lobsters and cooks them. I can’t handle stuff like that.

  3. I’m sure your aunt and uncle were happy to hear from you, even if you made them repeat themselves! 🙂
    I saw some cool-looking moon cake molds yesterday and looked up some recipes. It sounds like they would be interesting to try to make.

  4. belated happy lunar new year to you too. i escaped the celebration by heading out out of town for a long weekend with 2 other single friends. we all tired of the same questions we get from relatives. plus, we are not desperate to get the red envelopes. anyways, hope you had a good celebration. the only thing i missed is my mum’s mee-sua noodle. she always cooks some on the chinese new year day.

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