Snapshot: Celebrating Chinese New Year in Malaysia

Snapshot: Celebrating Chinese New Year
Receiving an "ang pow" from my lovely aunt Dorothy.
By Julia Low 

Just as the Christmas decorations around the houses and malls in Malaysia went down, up came a different kind of red, this time in celebration of Chinese New Year according to the Lunar calendar. 

Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year means spring cleaning, heaps of yummy food, and more importantly, lots of family time. 

This year, the festival began on January 22nd, when family members from all over the country (and world) gathered together in their hometowns on the eve of Chinese New Year to have their reunion dinner.

As the Low family tradition goes, we spent the eve of the new year having dinner at a Chinese restaurant, followed by supper at my uncle’s house, which was filled with lots of loud laughter. When the clock struck twelve, firecrackers could be heard from outside and thus began the exchanges of well wishes and gifts in the form of mandarin oranges, pineapple tarts, and more.

On the first day of the new year, married couples will begin giving out money in little red packets (“ang pows”) to the unmarried young’uns as a symbol of good luck. Families will also begin to visit other relatives and friends in their homes.

The celebration lasts for 15 days, and many of us will spend the following days visiting our relatives and loved ones. It is during this festive season that we are reminded of the importance of family and honouring our elders as we usher in a prosperous new year of abundant blessings.

Julia @ Girl With a Satchel