2020 is the Year of the Rat. Rat is the first zodiac animal on the Lunar calendar.
This year’s Chinese New Year is different on one account. I went about visiting my relatives using public transport, ie buses and MRT trains. I stopped driving since February last year after the Chinese New Year of that year. The journey had taken longer but it was comfortable. I did not have to worry about the perennial traffic jam along the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) during Chinese New Years since I did not drive. I could even sleep in the bus!
Our extended family starting from our late parents has 34 members. My siblings and I are now the first generation. All in we are 3 generations. Our children have children of their own.
We met on the eve for a reunion dinner at Yan Palace Restaurant just like last year. A major change this year was that we had our first day lunch at my sister’s home. Both occasions allowed us to bond and to strengthen ties especially with the younger members. Without Chinese New Year, we may not have the opportunity to see each other.
Visiting relatives is another thing we do. With each meal together, we would toss Yusheng (shredded vegetables/salads with raw fish/abalone) for luck. We exchanged Mandarin oranges and gave out Hongbao (red packets) to the younger children on this day. We wore bright coloured clothes (red colours would be appreciated). All these are traditions that we still practise.
So for once a year, we would shout Huat Ah to bring in prosperity. 就是发财的含义。
Wishing all a Happy and Prosperous Year!
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