Countdown to Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is just around the corner! As new (and only) madame of this household I realise I can’t leave it up to Mom, it’s up to ME to make our new home all Chinese New Year-sy. One thing I remember my Mom doing is filling the big rice “gong” (container) to the brim, and putting a hongbao (red packet) inside the rice, signifying bountiful life, that we don’t go hungry, that our cups runneth over and so on.  Well I bought rice today to fill our rice container. It’s this TINY box from Ikea, holds maybe a quarter pack of rice if I really pack it in. I hope that doesn’t mean we just get a quarter worth of bounty.

Tonight is also a significant night. 11pm tonight to be exact. The God of Fortune is meant to make his way to your home at this hour. Yes, all homes at the same hour. It’s the Santa technique I’m guessing. To welcome the God of Fortune, my Dad has given me specific instructions – “In the Northeast direction of your home, place 9 oranges with a hongbao containing 168 RMB. Put it in a nice, clean place, not next to the trash or brooms!” So that’s what we did. The oranges I bought today are HUGE, I hope they’ll make up for the tiny rice box.

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It’s going to be interesting to see how Chinese New Year is celebrated here in the village. We’re having a BBQ with some friends in our home, not very traditional I know but the important thing is to gather together right?  It’ll also be an open house of sorts, for the neighbours to pop by. They’re always curious to see what the laowais eat 🙂 More importantly, I’ve been stocking up on the fireworks for days now and we’ve got a pretty decent supply me thinks!

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Will keep you guys updated with pictures soon! And since tomorrow is the start of the new lunar calendar, here’s an early lunar Gong xi to all!

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