This year, Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year fell on the same day as Valentine’s Day i.e. 14th February 2010. Such coincidence will come in another 40 odd years. Majority of the Chinese community would, of course, celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY) instead of Valentine’s Day (VD), as it’s our tradition to celebrate the start of a new lunar year. The elders would be busy with prayers, offerings and food; whereas the young ones would be busy collecting Ang Pows ;-) VD is just a day for lovers to express their love in a commercial way(just my POV).
CNY is celebrated for 15 days according to the lunar calendar. It all started with ‘Tuin Nin Fan’ or Reunion Dinner on the last day of the lunar calendar of the year before. The whole household would get together on this auspicious night and would be buzzing with activities until the wee hours, apparently for the longevity of the elders.
On the first day of CNY, everyone would dress up to their nines, in everything new including lingerie's ;-) They would either go visiting or expecting visitors to their home. The married ones would give Ang Pows to the children, elders and single ones. Ang Pow is a red packet containing money, amount given is up to individual. This will continue for 15 days, until ‘Chap Goh Mei’ which is the last day of this festivity. Coincidentally, ‘Chap Goh Mei’ is also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day where the single ones would throw Mandarin Oranges into the sea, hoping to meet their other half soon. In between, there are prayers to appease the God’s i.e. ‘Hoi Nin’ which is on the 2nd day and ‘Pai Tin Kong’ which is on the 9th day.
There are many superstitious beliefs too i.e. cannot sweep the floor, cannot wash our hair, cannot throw rubbish, cannot wash clothes, etc… during the first and second day of CNY, as it symbolizes us reducing our luck. Throughout CNY, we must speak of happy things and not to scold or curse others. We must sweep the floor inwards the house i.e. from the main entrance to the back, the rubbish to be thrown into the dustbin. Hmmm… the list can go on and on ;-)
The auspicious day to start work or open for business for this year of the Tiger is either on the 3rd day or 6th day of CNY. I used to also follow Feng Shui’s do’s and don’ts previously but not this time around. Somehow believing in God is more important to me now, after what has happened in the year of the Ox. I just hope for a better Tiger year, a smooth sailing life and more quality time with my angels.
Today is ‘Yan Yat’, a day where everyone celebrates their birthday generally; which falls on the 7th day of CNY ;-) It’s also an auspicious day to ‘Low Sang’ hence you will see jam-packed restaurants everywhere. Happy birthday to all my readers, bloggers, friends and family! May all your roaring wishes come true!