While I don’t follow any particular Chinese New Year traditions, I do love this festive season. I usually take this opportunity to travel to places where there’s an active Chinese ethnic community celebrating the New Year. It ceases to amaze me how different and yet similar we are in so many ways, and I always feel an instant connection to the local people when I immerse myself in their celebrations and festivals.
We usually have a yee sang with the family and at my Shoes, Shoes, Shoes stores, there is always the compulsory lion dance. This year we have moved into a new house and we will be having the lion dance there too, which the kids are super excited about!
I still follow the tradition I grew up with which is to usher in the New Year by turning on the lights before midnight, and wearing new clothes on the first day of the lunar now. Now we practice that as a family.
Every year, my family will don matching outfits to go visiting on the first and second day of the Chinese New Year. This tradition began about nine years ago when I started dressing my kids were younger. I thought it was cute to dress them similarly for photos but also to make it easier for our extended family and friends to spot my kids for handing out ang pao!
Since then, it has evolved to include my parents, parents-in-law, brother- and sister-in-law, as well as their kids. I guess everyone liked the idea of matching outfits once a year for our annual family photo. My concept for our Chinese New Year outfits have always been Oriental-inspired with comfy cuts and fabrics so everyone can eat to their hearts’ content and still look good.