Thursday, 26 January 2012

CNY Madness in the Year of the Dragon

Typically, Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations lasts for approximately 20 days: 15 days of actual CNY celebrations plus about 5-7 days of preparations and reunion dinners. That's a lot of feasting and getting fat!

While I'm not going to attempt to cover all 20 days of celebrations in just one post, I will do so for the first week =)

Starting with our annual family reunion dinner on the eve of CNY. Following tradition, we had steamboat at home just like we did during CNY last year.

Annual reunion steamboat dinner

The mum-in-law wanted an easy clean up since she wasn't feeling too well so I helped to lay out aluminium on the hot-plate as well as the plastic sheet and newspapers on the table and floor.

Unlike last year, it was just the four of us this year because baby girl's cousins were vacationing in Tokyo (which was why we had an early reunion dinner with them 2 days earlier) and her great-granddad and granddad had passed away.

The mood was definitely not the same as last year but we tried to be positive about it all, knowing that he was with us in spirit.

Because of the recent deaths in the family, we were not allowed to celebrate CNY (i.e. no visitations, exchanging of mandarin oranges, giving of red packets, etc) according to Chinese traditions and customs.

But that didn't stop me from dressing baby girl in a cute 'ching chong' outfit on the 1st day of CNY.

"Happy Chinese New Year!"

Even if it's to go see her granddad at Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium. After spending the rest of the afternoon snoozing at home, we joined my aunt's (mum's sister) and my family for a nice dinner at a restaurant nearby.

As usual, it is a must to 'Lo Hei' (Prosperity Toss) some 'Yu Sheng' (literally means raw fish) at every meal for good luck and fortune.

Lo Hei

It's like tossing a coin in the fountain and making a wish. Only we get to eat the coin and the fountain! *laughs*

After a nice but ridiculously expensive meal (all Chinese restaurants jack up the prices before and during CNY due to the high demand), we headed back to my mum's place for some games.

Going to Popo's (maternal grandmother) house

Of course, the day is never complete without a family photo right?

My lovely family
(Miss you daddy! Wish you will come home from China soon..)

On the 2nd day of CNY, the next day, we were awaken by the sound of clanging cymbals and pounding drums. It was a lion dance troupe performing at a shophouse downstairs.

Tok tok chiang chiang chiang chiang chiang chiang CHIANG!

The Chinese believe that Lion / Dragon dance will bring good luck and prosperity to the one that engages it. This is a very common sight in my old school neighbourhood and needless to say, I had a great view of all the action from above in the comfort of my own home =)

Lion dance (left), Dragon dance (right)

It was quite a celebration and many onlookers gathered to take pictures and congratulate the boss of the shophouse. We then spent the rest of the day shopping at Ion Orchard, which was one of the few shopping centres that were opened in the whole of Singapore (and even then not opened completely).

On the 3rd day of CNY, the hubby and I were back at work and I had a super hard time keeping my eyes opened! It was really tough getting back into work-mode after a long week of celebrations! Nevertheless, we still managed to bring baby girl to Tiong Bahru Park in the evening after work.

Baby girl's 1st time at Tiong Bahru Park

I know it is strange that I have lived almost a third of my life (11 years to be exact) in Tiong Bahru and yet, have never been to this park. Sure, I've passed by this unique playground structure a million times and yet have never been in it.

Topsy-turvy train playground

Until now. Well.. better late than never. We discovered that baby girl absolutely loved the swings! =)

1st time on the swings

As it was her first time on it, I didn't know how she will react to it and whether or not she will be able to hold on tight. But hold on she did and thoroughly enjoyed herself =)

We also tried the old school merry-go-round and climbed into the train structure.

Merry-go-round (left); inside the train structure (right)

But baby girl wasn't as thrilled by it as she was the swings.

A self-taken picture with baby girl

It turns out, she was developing a fever! Apparently, my mum-in-law never got to see a doctor since the eve of CNY (as all the clinics were closed) and passed the virus to her.

Baby girl developed a high fever in the middle of the night (39 degrees celcius) so I had to take leave today to bring her and my mum-in-law to see the doctor, who said they might have a viral infection and prescribed a ton of medication.

Sound asleep after taking the meds

Both are feeling much better now and I'm praying they will get totally healed soon.

Braun ear thermometer

Incidentally, the forehead thermometer we bought was spoilt so I went out and got this ear thermometer, which was definitely more accurate, easy to use and reliable (but also more expensive!).

Hope you had a better CNY than we did (although we really did enjoy slacking around and doing nothing)! Enjoy the rest of your CNY celebrations! I know I will =)


This post is part of my MadPsychMum Fun in Singapore Guide to all things exciting for kids! 
Check out other fun playgrounds and attractions in Singapore! =)

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