It’s the weekend before Chinese New Year, which means tons of family (such as my own) celebrations all weekend long. The celebration and feasts and giving of the red envelopes (which are always anonymous) are meant for luck, prosperity, a new and beautiful year.
The upside about celebrating both standard New Years & Chinese New Year is that if things start off rocky for me on Jan. 1, I have another month to redeem myself (haha!). But really, the older I get, the more meaningful it is.
I always remember growing up and my mom explicitly telling us not to talk to her on New Year’s Day. I never understood why, but now I know it’s because she didn’t want to get angry/ be angry and/or yell at us. Supposedly, whatever it is you’re doing on the official Chinese New Year date (this year it’s Jan. 31st), is what you’ll be doing the rest of the year. So my mom avoids everything – shopping, yelling, being with friends. Though every single year, for as long as I can remember, she has always just wanted us around. She wanted to spend her entire year with us.
But New Year’s is not just about family or getting money in red envelopes (which at my age, I no longer get money), it’s about the traditions and preparation. My mom throws some crazy parties – even if no one is there but her children. She stays up all night making 20 different types of food, making coconut sugar-rimmed desserts, dressing up her incense alter, making persimmon trees with red envelopes as ornaments. I’m talking Martha Stewart meets Betty Crocker.
The more and more I relive these memories and traditions from when I was a child, the more I realize just how much I am like my mother. Every bit of my creativity I got from her. My work ethic and my drive, all from my mother.
So, if your year hasn’t started off as well as you’ve anticipated, start anew. Happy New Year. <3