Saturday, 21 June 2014

Preparing for Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival)

9 more days to Chinese New Year!!! If you're new to Chinese culture, here's a list of preparations for Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival), which falls on January 31, 2014 this year:

1. Spring clean!

Throw away all old and unwanted items. Clean and sweep away all the dust and cobwebs. Hubby and I spent a week doing this i.e. he cleaned the fans, washed the bathroom and toilet, washed and dried the laundry, sorted and stowed away the clothes the children outgrew. Me? I went through our boxes and boxes of BOOKS, paper and toys with the kids and got them to decide which toy they were no longer playing with. Our 4 year old had a tough time parting with old toys though as she kept going, "Aww...I still like playing with it, Mummy..." Sigh, maybe next year? Our 7 year old was more pragmatic: "This toy is for BABIES! Are you a baby???" Hahaha. Tough love. Phew, you should have seen the bags and bags of clothes and and boxes of books and toys we had to give away. I work with a church who works with families of migrant workers and we have been giving them almost all our baby's bottles, baby food, baby clothes, baby toys and other baby and kids stuff...

2. Decorate the home for Chinese New Year

Since we never celebrate Chinese New Year at our own home, neither Hubby nor I have ever bothered with this. One of the reasons the kids are excited about celebrating Chinese New Year at my in-laws' place is because my mother-in-law, like my late grandmother, is very festive when it comes to home decor. When we drive towards the house from the airport, we can see HUGE red lanterns and a RED banner at the entrance. Entering the house, you'll be greeted with RED sofa covers, a RED carpert, RED paper cut-outs and pots of RED, ORANGE and PINK flowers everywhere. I have to admit that I was very overwhelmed the first year I celebrated Chinese New Year at their home :D Hubby and I would have interesting discussions about how RED everything is hahaha. chinese-red-throw-pillow-cover Now? Hubby is mortified that both his WIFE and MOTHER love decorating the home for Chinese New Year hahaha! Oh yes, I have been buying my mother-in-law RED throw pillow covers like these 17" Square Chinese Silk Throw Pillow Covers, Chinese calendars with RED and GOLD Chinese characters. I've actually been looking out for a RED table cloth but could not find any :-( This year, I have been putting touches of RED and GOLD at our own place simply because our kids can't join in the festive preparations at my mother-in-law's place. When our kids helped me hang some wall decorations and change the throw pillows, they asked, "Can we buy the BIG lanterns too? Please, please, please!!!" Err...no. Our Chinese neighbour already does a fine job decorating her entrance, I think we'll maintain our simple entrance hahaha. I can hear Hubby's sigh of relief ;-)

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