Heaven on Earth … 🌏🥰
Growing up before the western culture came into play in my life, Lunar New Year has been one of the few festive seasons we were part of 🥳 Looking at my kids now, I wished they understand the joy and the traditions of what this festive seasons means to some of us - especially in my childhood 🥰
Red Pockets…New Clothes…Food that we wouldn’t normally get...
We would typically get our picture taken in our new clothes (which might I add was only once a year 🤯), this was just pure excitement! We often got to line up side by side for that one perfect shot - I am sure we all have had our parents do that to us growing up 🤣 We were all very camera shy during this once a year novelty - so look good and definitely don't look too excited as it can be seen as Crass! We had one shot ONLY, so we had to make it count 🤣
I have very fond memories of everything that is associated with this festival. If I was to describe true happiness it would be the excitement that comes around every lunar year in my childhood 🥰🥳
As a child, Lunar New Year means wealth, prosperity and celebration. We get red pockets filled with either 1 or 2 Thai Baht. Enough to keep smiles on our faces for a few months (certainly in those days anyway!). I remember getting around 10 red pockets one year - Ka ching 😁💰- Honestly, I felt super rich and possibly my happiest self for that year 🤩
Us kids would also get one set of brand new clothes that included a top and bottom. And if I am lucky, I get a trims added to the collar and cuff around the hem of my trousers with those fabric wrapped buttons as fasteners! OMG it was like CHANEL on steroids 🥳 I would wear this outfit until the following year before another brand new set get given again - so I definitely got my use front hem! By then we all look like the Jackson 5, where our trousers are skin tight and ¾ way up from our original hem line due to a growth spurt 🤣 Not to mention the holes and all the mending patchworks - that certainly added extra flair to the style 🤪 Lol
My favourite part of getting new clothes was when mum called upon us to measure up…
Starting from the head circumference, through to the hem width for our trousers. If she measures the width circumference that is just below our calf muscle, it meant you're getting something REALLY trendy! Watch out, cool kids alert! 🤣
Watching mum drawing patterns onto the colourful printed fabric brings assurance that we were good that year 🥰 We then would watch her cut then sew it all together - it was like watching a magical fairytale come to life! It was the time of year that mum would get out her Singer Treadle Sewing Machine - getting a real workout on all of our new clothes! I loved that treadle machine so much. So much in fact, that I was on the hunt for one in Brisbane - to which I was successful in finding - and still keep it very close to me so those happy memories stay alive 🥰
No tooth fairy. No Santa. No Birthday.
It was just the lunar new year!!! So you can imagine the excitement we all had when it was getting close! We all get one year older on lunar new year. Mum would count our years based on the animal birth year. So it is every occasion within one festivity…
These days, I get the occasional joy through giving out red pockets to my kids, nieces and nephews - but it is not the same! I guess they have everything and red pockets to them is just another routine that fills us adults with the void and craving for the good days 🤣
For me and my siblings it meant the world to us. The festivities were supposed to go on for 2 weeks, but we only celebrated for 3 days - this was roughly when all the food ran out. That time of the year isn't just rice and salty fish or salty meat. It's a-la-carte kinda rice!! Full of desserts and candy too 🤩 One year we were lucky enough to have an apple to share with the whole family! Apple was very expensive, so one year mum went all out and bought one apple and cut it up into 12 pieces for us to taste. OMG - what was that we just tried? 🤯 I couldn’t describe the taste until we arrived in Australia in August 1990 - that was when I had my 2nd dose of the fruit called 🍎 🍏
Firecrackers, Loin dancing and yellow flowers everywhere…
The sounds of people laughing and drinking home made rice wine! This celebration is “honestly heaven on earth”.
On that note I wish everyone a very happy and prosperous year ahead, and most of all good health and the ability to feel gratitude on the rough days! 🤩
“Kung Hei Fat Choi”