The dragon year is here. Two dragons in my family....my ma and my eldest brother in Vancouver; (correction: three dragons in the family, I forgot my niece, Clareen in Vancouver).
Thought I had better put this down before I forget. Before CNY I was telling my colleagues, dont know how much our children will follow the traditions that we do now. That also mine is very very watered down version.
Before CNY is spring cleaning...especially when I was young. Eldest sis will make us work and work and work; turning the house upside down and sparkling clean. Before the first day of New Year comes about, the house will be mopped again and the garbage bin cleaned out. Now, I get my maid to do the cleaning. I just order her around. As for major cleaning like curtains and sofa, I had them washed during the December holiday. So still clean. Don't have to touch them.
On CNY eve, in the afternoon will be 'gohoon' for lunch. It's a combination of beehoon and meesuah. This is Hinghwa food. KC is part Hinghwa...so my MIL carries on this tradition. It's to stick the family together. I've yet to cook this dish as MIL has been cooking it all the years. Will be trying it out soon as my family thinks that I need to know how to cook this dish.
Evening time will be reunion dinner. This year we held it in our house as MIL is not too well. We had steamboat; original and tomyam flavour. Of course a reunion dinner is a must. Told the kids wherever they will be next time, they have to come home for it.
Next day is angpow time. Kids will get angpow and blessings from us, parents. Then we will take family photos, as usual. We try our very best to be dressed in red. I don't keep to having everything new for the new year. We are happy going around in our old new clothes and slippers...but I try to get as many new items for us as possible.
Then we go over to Uncle Hoe's house for meesuah breakfast. This is oyster+scallop+meat soup...the Hinghwa meesuah is fat; unlike the Foochow meesuah which is thin and fine. Dan prefers Hinghwa meesuah. Lyn loves both meesuah. We will lepak there till noon time. The kids have been picking up mahjong and some other card games here every year. This is something which my side of the family never do. Cards are banned in our Sitiawan home....only my kids bring cards to play!!
Later in the evening, we will journey home to my side of the family in Sitiawan to 'painien'.
Oh yes...cookies and mandarin oranges are most important. I try baking some every year but I still need to buy lots of them. Not forgetting keropok and acar. This year keropok supply has gone real low.
This is how I try to keep the CNY tradition in my family.