There were angpows, angpows and more angpows and lots of good food, cookies, oranges and groundnuts to munch on all day and we got to stay up late into the night and gamble! Oh and I almost forgot the beautiful fireworks that light up the night sky. It was really fun. The firecrackers are a bit too loud for me though.
And then when I was a teenager, it was still exciting to compare new clothing and fashions with all our cousins when we got together at the old family house. It was fun to go out together to have our hair done and watch movies together.
And then everyone grew up and got married and the old house got less and less merry as the girls did not come home for the CNY anymore since they were required to be at their in-laws. Some of the younger ones were studying overseas and did not return home for CNY cos it was expensive to do so. We stopped doing things together. The married boys had their own little families to look after now and everything just became quieter overall.
Then I got married and I followed my hubby's traditions which is a much quieter version than mine was. Now we have kids and its starting to get fun again. Its lovely to start our own little family CNY ritual. Even though they're still very young, its nice to create excitement for the kids by buying new clothes and shoes for them and telling them that they must wait till CNY before they can wear it.
I remember as a child, how nice it was to change into new pyjamas after a bath on the eve of CNY so we got them cute little pyjamas for the eve as well. Baby will look so cute in his first "man" pyjamas and my girl will look sweet in her brightly coloured one.
Its nice to involve them in the house cleaning and decorating. I know my girl is looking forward to "washing" the balcony. We do it together like twinsmom. Even baby helps out. He would be in just his diapers and pants and he'd sit there on the floor looking very happy and wet while he plays with the bucket of water in the pail. My girl is happy to help "pour" the water for us from her little red watering can.
Its fun to put up the decorations afterwards, the little dolls, flowers and hanging mobiles and see their excitement being ignited when the red lanterns are lighted up. Its nice to build up their excitement for CNY and in doing so, our own excitement builds up too. CNY is not just about the day, its also about all the rituals leading to the day and it lasts for 15 days! What a celebration. I'm really looking forward to it.