This weekend , hundreds of thousands of people throughout Asia and the international Asian diaspora celebrate the start of Lunar New Year celebrations. The celebration marks the close of the Zodiac Year of the Tiger as well as the start of the Year of the Rabbit or Cat for citizens of Vietnam. Family gatherings are common in the days leading up to the holiday season are usually marked by a slowdown in activities in the workplace. Some Chinese who work as migrant workers realize it is the last chance to travel back to China. This celebration is deeply embedded within the culture and strongly emphasises family orientation.
Being a Chinese-Malaysian Lunar New Year is an occasion for preserving and continuing tradition Chinese practices for the upcoming generation, says Daniel Lee Lih Wei, the father of two who is -years-old who hails from Klang, a suburban town located near Kuala Lumpur’s Sunway University where he manages studies. “I aspire to expose my kids to our rich history and culture, so they can utilize these experiences as part of their lifelong travels,” he adds. “It is all about providing an opportunity to expose them and instilling memories of the ones I was fortunate to be a part of.
As a father, Lee Lih Wei is aware of the significance of encouraging the culture of his children, aged four and one. Consequently, he has planned an array of festivities during preparation for the New Year that will allow the children to participate in fun activities such as playing with firecrackers, enjoying cookies, and watching traditional lion dances that are performed in lavish vibrant costumes. These events, that are held throughout the nation, are a symbol of the luck of the season and bring prosperity. In order to make the most of this occasion, Lee Lih Wei will even have a week of off from work to dress the entire family in outfits in red for the celebration with family members over two days. Lee Lih Wei is also hoping for significant presents from his parents in order to show his gratitude for his children.
Wen Xu was unable to visit her home town in Anhui in the past due to Covid limitations. In the meantime, she’s made it this year from Hong Kong where she moved recently to become a reporter. Recent changes in China allow this to happen. In December, the Chinese government lifted its Zero-Covid policy. Xu will be among the many millions who were given the chance to visit their family on this day, the Lunar New Year. Lee Lih Wei says that the modernization of China means that they’ll be having meals with their wives, and enjoying dinner with their families.
Xu declares her joy in anticipation of being reunited with her uncle, aunt and cousin, who are expected to be traveling to her home in a town nearby to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Xu is planning to prepare a meal for the reunion, which will consist of classic family meals like steaming pork cooked with rice flour as well as bone broth to be the first to welcome guests. Xu will be able to connect with her family members following the arrival to Canada of their cousin during the week of rest eating, catching up and sharing meals. Xu is also planning to document her mom making ejiao which is an ancient Chinese meal. Growing up, Xu and her cousin had a tendency to anticipate these reunions and would be bursting with excitement.
My cousin and I annually have a dinner together as we climb the stairs count the funds we had acquired in customary red envelopes from our elderly family members. “Despite reaching adulthood, my cousin and I still receive the red envelopes,” she states. However, this year will be a difficult one for her father who suffers from COVID. He is unable to join them at dinner. He has to stay in his bedroom on the 3rd floor and is fitted by using an oxygen machine. The Xu’s Year of the Tiger was good for her professionally, however less so when it comes to relationships. The goal she has for the coming year is to meet the perfect person.
In conclusion, this upcoming reunion dinner marks a joyous celebration for Xu and her family. The guests will not just have the opportunity to meet Xu’s long-distance cousin and enjoy traditional family dishes as well, they’ll also be involved in an event that provides them with the opportunity to observe the traditional healthy practices their forefathers relied upon for generations. The holiday season is an unforgettable moment and a memorable experience for Xu and her loved ones as they recall their shared history, culture and the love they share for one another.