Chinese New Year – Year of the Dragon

Well we are only mere hours away from celebrating one of the biggest holidays in the Asian calendar—Chinese New Year! While governments, businesses and schools in Asia will be closing down on January 23, I like many Asians in North America, will be going to work tomorrow instead.

Still Chinese New Year is a great time to celebrate the “pomelo” in all of us.  Even though my family got together for dinner on Saturday night for Chinese New Year, I can’t help but think taht it seems kinda wrong that we don’t make a much bigger deal out of this holiday. My sister phoned earlier to today and she asked if I remembered to give the little red packages to my nephew and niece. Quite frankly, I had thought about it but couldn’t get organized enough to do it.

So what else did I forget to do this New Year’s Eve? According to this website, I should also be doing the following:

  • Clean the entire home to get rid of all the things that are associated with the old year. I had to chuckle when I read that very few modern families follow “all” the cleaning traditions. Thank God!  Although I did manage to sweep my living room floor and clean by upstairs bathroom.  Does that count?  
  • Put away all brooms and brushes. Oops! Now that I put all of that away, I can count this off my list.
  • Pay all your debts. Sorry. 
  • Resolve differences with family members, friends, neighbors and business associates. No issues with family members, friends or neighbors.  Work colleagues are a totally different matter.  Too many issues that will need resolving to get it all done by tomorrow!
  • Pay respect to ancestors and household gods. Acknowledge the presence of ancestors because they are responsible for the fortunes of future generations. Sorry, no shrine to the household gods. 
  • Open every door and window in your home at midnight to let go of the old year. Yeah, not going to happen.  It’s -20 outside.  No way I’m opening every door and window at midnight to bring in the new year.

Well according to the list, I will be very unlucky.  Oh well, luckily I don’t subscribe to the notion that you have to follow every tradition perfectly in order for one to be considered Chinese.  I believe you take the best of that tradition and adapt to suit your current situation.  Namely, the most important thing was to spend time with my family.  So what if my nephew and niece didn’t get a lee see  from me?  The kids know I love them and would do anything for them, including emergency babysitting.

So let’s  take a moment and just say, Gong Hey Fat Choy! Wishing you prosperity, luck and happiness in the Year of the Dragon!