So now it’s Wednesday night, the end of the third day of Chinese New Year.
Some folks have gone back to work, my work email’s inbox is starting to fill up, some kids are back in school tomorrow. Most are still on leave, Chinese-owned shops are still closed.
It went by too quickly.
Specifically, it didn’t feel like it, the way I remembered it.
We were at Grandma’s open house last night- Hot Mummee’s family’s tradition where Grandma caters (more like she cooks herself!) for her side of the family, always on the second day of the New Year. There was a comment made last night, echoed by many.
Every year it feels less and less like Chinese New Year. I wholeheartedly agree.
For me, it was all of these:
- Whole roast pigs; Okay it’s expensive; somehow my parents used to get one and share them with relatives and friends)
- Lots of ang pows; yes I know I am married now!
- Pai thee kong; I know this is celebrated on the 8th day, but previous years have already shown the “slowdown”
- More firecrackers; yes us boys played with all sorts, but left the serious one (the long over-6-footers packed with gunpowder!) to dad to light
- Lots of food and junk food
- Noise, mainly from blaring Chinese New Year songs
- More firecrackers
For me, the change started when Malaysia banned firecrackers. It started not feeling like that time of year anymore, because it traditionally was a very noisy part of the year, where the nights would be literally cracked by the sporadic exploding cracker, or the occasional rapid-fire of a 6-footer. Our lawn would be littered with small pieces of red paper, evidence of our own 6-footer.
And then, it started to change. Through the years the atmosphere was getting less and less like it. I don’t think it is just because I am growing (older), that my personal experience and memory are different because I am seeing the world differently at the passing of every year. I think a lot of you would also agree that it is not the same anymore.
For my kids, I foresee that they will likely not view this traditionally very significant Chinese festivity as big a deal as we do. They’d probably know that it is significant, but it is not as big an impact as it did for us when we were kids.
Do you feel the same?