Chinese New Year is one of the most exciting and happiest times of the year. During this holiday season all Malaysian, especially those of Chinese origin, join in to visit one another and generally have a wonderful time together.
For me, it is no different from others. A week before New Year’s Day I would have got ready all my new clothes and new shoes. My parents, brothers and sisters, friends and relatives are all busy preparing for the big day too.
On the eve of the New Year, all members of the family would be gathered together to have the traditional reunion dinner. My house would be filled with the chatter of voices as one by one, my brothers and sisters return home with their family. It would be one big noisy new year. My little nephews and nieces would make sure of that.
To welcome in the New Year, I would wait, with those who can bear it, till after midnight at an auspicious .hour to begin the ritual prayers. After the short prayers, I would light some firecrackers to signal the start of the New Year. I am sure my whole neighborhood would be wakened by the noise of the exploding firecrackers, not only from me but also from others. In fact, every Chinese family would be letting off firecrackers. They are supposed to scare off evil spirits.
After a light sleep, I would wake up early in the morning to greet the new day. Then I would greet my parents and my grandmother. They would give me some ‘ang-pows’ as is traditionally practiced. In fact, all unmarried members of the family would receive the ‘ang-pows’ from the manned ones. It is certainly wonderful to receive money. One day I shall find out how it is like to give.
Anyway, after breakfast, I would be out of the house visiting all my friends. My closest friends and I would do our rounds on our bicycles. It is a sort of tradition for us, for we have been doing this for two years now.
At every house we visit, we would be offered food and drinks in unlimited amounts. I must be very careful not to stuff myself at the very first house we visit. Two years ago I made the mistake of eating indiscriminately at the first house we visited. As a result. I could not eat any more at the subsequent houses. What was worse, I came down with an acute case of indigestion. That new year was terrible. The very sight of food and drinks made me want to throw up. It was not a pleasant experience. Now I am a wiser person. I would only eat and drink in moderation. In this way, I could enjoy all the different food and drinks in different houses and still not overeat.
In the afternoon, if there is a good picture playing at one of the theatres, my friends and I would go and see it. Otherwise, we would visit more friends.
By evening, all of us would be tired but happy. We would have spent a wonderful day visiting friends and sharing the joy that comes only once a year. The New Year is especially wonderful because I am never short of money on that day. I cannot say the same for the other days.
When I finally arrive back home, everything would be ready for dinner. So, if I had watched the amount! had eaten earlier, I would still have some space left over to take in what my mother would have slavishly prepared for us.
The evening after dinner would be spent with my family. The little kids are an unending source of fun and games. I would show them the art of lighting rockets, roman candles, and other fireworks. Of course, I must take care that no accident occurs. Calamity on New Year’s Day is certainly bad luck to everyone.
When midnight approaches it would be time then to call it a day, and what a day it would have been So its shah be near actual day comes. I have planned and thus know exactly what to do.