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 the Asia Pacific or South East Asia regions, you are probably witnessing one of the most widely celebrated festivals in this region. The Lunar New Year.

Oh those colours.
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 belief, there are 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 annually.  Others waiting for their turn are the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster and the Dog.

On 28 January 2017, we bade farewell & thanked the Monkey for a blessed year and welcomed the Fire Rooster into our lives. The saying goes that a person inherits a bit of the characteristic of their birth year animal. I like my birth-year animal very much. I 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.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

I have my own way to show respect for the season. In the past I have worn red outfits, had dinner with friends who celebrated the occasion and indulged in peanut cookies that melt in the mouth. These are just a few festival related traditions to name. This year I did the same. Angpows (small red packets containing money) are usually given by those who celebrate the event to single people or to their close relatives. I do not qualify for any. But I do say, I collect the empty red packets distributed by local banks and supermarkets because they just look too pretty not to.

The first two days of festival holiday fell over the weekend, giving us an extended weekend. Due to this, it was also a good  time to travel. But travelling during this season can be tricky. - you may end up paying for high-priced-cheap-seat airline ticket like I did. Well, I took advantage of this long weekend 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. To me, family is important, I wouldn’t put a price tag to that.

After only two hours of sleep, on a red-eye flight with the most uncomfortable seats of the plane, I now start my work week. To keep me energised, 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 ambiance, it is worth a try. Premium coffee grade - 4.


Happy Chinese New Year friends, enjoy the season.

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