For most people, Lunar New Year is a huge deal and nothing short of the works will do. Me, I keep it simple. You know, once you’ve missed a few lunar new years, it’s easy to sit back and treat it as just another day. And I have missed quite a few in my time because I was either in class (not a public holiday in the US and good students don’t cut class just because it’s new year’s 😉 ), on a plane or out of circulation, or just plain uninitiated.
There’s also the fact that I consider myself to be something of a global citizen, rebel and banana all rolled into one (a combination sure to be frowned upon by my ancestors). So I feel like that gives me the freedom to choose if and how I want to celebrate LNY. I hope my ancestors aren’t too peeved at how dangerously close I come to violating custom and tradition sometimes.
So for most people, the weeks around LNY are a crazy busy time spent shopping for new shoes and clothes (in the color red!), eating exotic, exorbitantly-priced and auspiciously-named food rarely eaten at other times of the year (not sure if this is still true since people feast year round these days), and adorning their homes with symbolic red and gold decorations for good luck and prosperity.
The way I do it, there’s no rushing to shop for new clothes because unlike back in the day, we shop year round already as it is. And umm, to be honest, I find red clothing especially worn during LNY to be somewhat tacky. One year, SuperSuperstitious SIL even told us to wear red underwear for good luck *slams forehead into wall*. The horror of it! So forgive me if I avoid red like the plague lolol!
As usual, I have no festive decorations, lanterns or lucky plants either inside or outside the house to boast of since I don’t believe any of that stuff about the color red or gold being lucky, or that eating auspiciously-named food will bring prosperity or whatever. Rather, I believe good things come from how you live your life and how you treat others, not what you wear, eat or hang on your front door. But that’s just me!
Eating at Chinese restaurants is something I avoid for the entire festive period unless I’m going as a guest. If and when we do eat out, we have plenty of great international food options to choose from rather than rushing to where everyone else is headed. LNY is mostly pretty quiet for us. We visit a few relatives, have a few laughs (we all love to joke) and that’s it. I don’t drink. I don’t gamble. I’m not much of a snacker so if I do eat all of 3 cookies in the whole 15 days, that would be news.
Doubtless if you’re one of those big-time die-hard LNY revelers, you’re shaking your head right now and going, You’re such a bore! And it’s true, I am lolol. Understandably, not everyone has the freedom to decide how they want to celebrate LNY. Many are bound by custom and tradition, and/or iron-fisted elders. I can get away with it because Hip2bDad and I are known rebels in the family, so no one actually expects us to tow the line heheh! If we don’t show up looking like Rudolph’s noses, people have learned to respect that it’s our choice. And that’s good. I believe in freedom of choice.
Speaking of which, what’s this? Never seen one of these before! Is it Christmas or Lunar New Year now?
Oh wait, this WAS a Christmas tree just last month and now it’s been recycled into a LNY tree with mandarin oranges as ornaments. Now that’s what I call freedom of choice. Even a Christmas tree can choose to be a LNY tree at some point, how cool is that! Have a good one, everyone 🙂 !