Saturday, February 05, 2005

Gong Hei Fatt Choi!
Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year Goodies
♥ Let's Celebrate the Chinese New Year of Rooster ♥
9 Feb 2005 to 23 Feb 2005
Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Strangely I feel disconnected with it. Perhaps this is because I am in the land of koala and kangaroo? But then again, there are a lot of Chinese New Year (CNY from here on to save me typing) activities going on in Sydney.

So this is the Year of the Rooster. Right now I can't think of any auspicious greeting about the Rooster. We had a tiny competition last year back home in Taiwan where each of the family member had to come up with an auspicious greeting related to Monkey. It was good fun. I shall update on this if I managed to think of some cute Rooster-related greeting.

Sadly, I am not heading home for CNY so I guess no games this year with my beloved families members and friends. Have I also mentioned it is very popular to let loose the gambling monster inside you during CNY (yes, once a year is alright) and have a few games of mahjong, card games etc; all of course deals with money!

And then there's the food. Oh the food! All the feliticious meals and delicious snacks that's going to make everyone put on at least 3kg and takes at least 1 month to burn it off! So this is when outdoor games come in handy. Remember exercise is still important while you are on holiday......Okie. This is something I should really keep in mind since my activity level is basically nil. *yikes*

Anyway before I go on a holiday for about a week, I would like to wish everyone Happy Chinese New Year and of course I haven't forgotten to include a few CNY photos to share!

Chinese New Year Tree!
♥ pinkcocoa's Chinese New Year Tree
I have been lazy and haven't put away my mini Christmas Tree. With my best friend's witty advice, I have decided to add a few CNY ornaments onto it and putting a quick few CNY decor underneath.

Back home, we would buy bunches of Silverbuds willows (yin liu) and decorate them with cute little red ornaments with auspicious meaning to them. Another popular plant would be the wan nian qing (Japanese rhodea) or more popularly known as kai yun zu (literary open luck bamboo) which is said to lead open the road to fortune for you. It also comes in a spiral form. This is called zhuan yun zu; literary twist (or spiral) fortune bamboo. This is said to help you change your change to a better direction.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai~
These are what we called the red packet or ang-pow in hokkien; hong bao in mandarin; and lai xi in Cantonese. These are usually given to children of a younger age by older family members. But this really depends on the culture.

In Taiwan, red packets are given not only to youngster but also to elderly once you start working. However, the red packets are usually distributed among family members. In Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore; red packets are given to those who are still single ie. not married. And these are not restricted to family members but also to other younger children of friends, friends' friends, friends' friends' friends....etc.. This is why you see car pools of the Malay families loaded with kids visiting one house from another, even if they don't know you and vice versa!

Inside the red packets are money and the amount varies. In Taiwan, it is a custom to give a large sum of money related to an auspicious figure. In South East Asia, the amount really varies depending on how rich your family is.

Wheel of Fortune
♥ The Lucky Fortune Paper Windmill (?)
The cute paper windmill (shou feng che) you see at the front is a gift from a friend in Hong Kong. This is the popular zhuan yun feng che in Hong Kong. Hold it while walking, the more and faster the paper windmill rotates, the more luck and fortune will be directed towards you.

Goodwill Begins Here...
♥ Goodwill begins here
This cute little red goodwill packet comes from my dearest friend whom I have known since kindy. I am just so lucky to receive her lovely greeting from Malaysia in the form of a cute Goodwill box! Inside are some sweet Chinese thin biscuits and two Chinese preserved mandarin peel (chen pi).

CNY is basically like Christmas in the West. Hampers and gifts are given out as a thankful gesture. Usually we would receive boxes of Chinese mandarin, which bears the auspicious meaning da ji da li (plentyful of luck and fortune). The ji vowels with mandarin: ji zhi.

May Your Dreams Come True!
♥ May Your Dreams Come True
Just before I go, I would like to wish everyone

Gong Xi Fa Cai
(Wishing you to make a big fortune$$ in the new year)

Hong Bao Na Lai
(Give me red packets)
....Oh. Oops. Sorry. Shouldn't have said this here. Seriously don't try and greet this on CNY. Just a joke term for the kids to say on CNY!!

Bu Bu Gao Sheng
(May you ascend to Success)

Wan Shi Ru Yi
(May you succeed and glide smoothly in everything you do)

Xin Xiang Shi Cheng
(May your dreams come true)

Xin Nian Kuai Lei !
(Happy New Year!)

Be back later and hopefully with lots of photos and probably more auspicious greeting (if I remember) to share! *hugssss*