Monday, 23 January 2012

Heureux Nouvel An Chinois! (or 中国新年快乐!)

It's another new year, barely three weeks into 2012. How I love Malaysia, for all its public holidays! Anyways, the Chinese calendar heralds the coming of the Dragon Year, the most auspicious zodiac in the calendar cycle. Somehow, the dragon ended up fifth in the race to the Jade Emperor (or was it Buddha?), but still that didn't bring down the prestige of the Dragon. The last Dragon year was around 2000, coinciding with the third millenium; making it quite of an auspicious, once-in-a-lifetime experience to velebrate that year. Even so, this post is about 2012, so let's get a move on.

Almost everyone knows the drill. Clean everything, repay all debts, settle all arrangements before the new year arrives. Then, have a reunion dinner on new year's eve, perhaps watch the fireworks and firecrackers scare all the evils of the past year, and if you are lucky, get to watch a lion dance! After all that, land with a plunk on your bed, get up early, and ready the house for any visitors willing to stop by. Then comes the good part, get ang pows loaded with money! That is, if you're still a child and unmarried, or else you'll be the one crying about empty pockets. Let it go on for 15 days, and that's the festival simplified. (Of course, there are a handful of superstitions to adhere to, but that's another story...)

Nothing is without form and substance. However, substance is always over form, for what is form if there is no substance to define it? Point is, Chinese New Year is not about having the best food, watching the most well-coordinated lion dance, or even getting the most ang pow money! (Yes, I love my ang pows, as a child I'm afraid I must gobble them all up, but that's not what I meant) Eventhough you are alone with these, the spirit of these celebrations would never be with you. It is family that matters. The ones that comforts you when you're down, and jumps with you when you're elated; that's them. No matter how much you can't stand them, or despise them (or turn them to stone), it's not like you can choose them! Everything happens for a reason, and there's one to why your family is, well, your family.

With that, I sign out from this post composed at the first mments of the Year of the Dragon, and wish everyone a happy and prospereous year!

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