The Lunar New Year is finally upon us! I can practically smell the egg tarts in the air! But this year it’s a bittersweet experience since many people won’t see their loved ones due to the ongoing pandemic.
This year at Chinosity, we thought it would be comforting to share our past traditions and try to celebrate in new and creative ways. So we teamed up with TikToker Gege the Jing and Malaysian Youtuber Dan Khoo to share our stories.
In my household, Lunar New Year’s is a time of connection and family. Being a child of first generation immigrants means we don’t have many people to share the holiday with.
Still, we would gather with my aunt, uncle, and younger cousin to eat something easy like hot pot, because none of us are cooks. Me and my cousins used to make a mess in the basement as we played with paints, Barbies and stuffed animals.
Although my family is full of non-cooks, Gege’s family is full of cooks!
Gege says, “Personally, I have a family of foodies! We like to wrap dumplings, sit around a huge table and have everything family style. Not to brag or anything but my mom is the best chef!”
Gege and I both stick to the traditional dishes like steamed fish (清蒸鱼 qīng zhēng yú), dumplings 饺子 (jiǎo zi) and steamed chicken 蒸鸡 (zhēng jī). Khoo on the other hand enjoys the best of both Western and Eastern food through home cooking and takeout.
In Gege’s home, New Year’s typically fills her home with a cacophony of kids playing piano and loud singing.
“My brother is stuck playing the piano while the parents just holla! Do the opera! Go at it! It gets loud,” she said.
But this year, she’s settling for none of her relatives’ off-key singing. Instead, she’s keeping her celebration to just her brothers and parents, though I am sure it will be equally as joyful.
Khoo takes a more non-traditional approach. He will hang out with friends in a virtual world and play Facebook games together! It sure is a smart way to keep people engaged from thousands of miles away.
As for me? This year, I will follow in Gege’s footsteps and have dinner with my family of three and rewatch “Rush Hour” for the millionth time. Mostly because my family adores Jackie Chan and anything he is in.
And at the end of the night, it’s time for all of ours favorite part… Red Pockets! Nothing brings you better luck for the New Year then free money in a pretty red envelope.
We at Chinosity hope everyone has a safe and auspicious Lunar New Year!