Turn ‘em on Loud.

When you see red decorations in shopping malls, carton loads of mandarin oranges in stores, lion dances, drums, colourful cheongsams, red angpows (money packets) and firecrackers in Asia Pacific or South East Asia you are probably witnessing one of the most widely celebrated festivals in this region.

The Lunar New Year or the Chinese New Year (CNY) is a 15-day celebration, celebrated by the people of Chinese origin. The Chinese zodiac is an interesting one, 12 animals in total, each year is dedicated to a specific animal – starting with the Rat and ends with the pig on the 12th. The cycle repeats.  Others waiting for their turns are the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster and the Dog.
Oh those colours.

On 28 January 2017, we bade farewell & thanked the Monkey for a blessed year and welcomed the fire roaster into our lives. The saying goes that a person inherits a bit of the characteristics of the animal of their birth year. I like my birth-year animal very much, always wanted it as a pet, but i would get arrested if seen with one in my apartment. Keep guessing, I am not giving any hints. 

Do search the web for your zodiac animal too when you have time, it’s a fun way to learn about yourself.

I have my own way to show respect for the season. This year as in the past, is to wear red outfits, have dinner with friends who celebrate the occasion and indulge on peanut cookies that melt away in the mouth are just a few to name. Angpows are usually given by those who celebrate to unmarried ones or to close relatives, therefore, I dont qualify for any. But I do say, I collect the empty ones distributed by local banks and supermarkets because they just look too pretty not to.

The first 2 days of festival holiday fell over the weekend, giving us an extended weekend. It was also travel opportunity for me on a highly-priced-cheap-seat airline to visit a dear aunt (mom’s older sister) in India who was not feeling well. She took care of me when I was young and still looks out for me from where ever she is. She is much better now. Family is important, I wouldn’t put a price tag to that.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!
With only 2 hours of sleep, on a red-eyed flight with the most uncomfortable seats of the flight, I now start my work week. To keep me energized, I start the CNY week with a local white coffee and Kaya (coconut jam spread) toast. The coffee’s origins would remain stateless until the workers here figure out where it’s from themselves.   And on the second attempt I finally got served.  If you are in no hurry, willing to wait and enjoy the ambience, it worth a try. Premium coffee grade - 4.

Happy Chinese New Year friends, enjoy the season.

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