As the year of the horse gallops in

Celebrating the Lunar New Year is always a hectic time for us, since both the hubs and I come from large extended families.

When the kids were younger, it was also tough to lug them from place to place, especially since they’d get fussy when it nears naptime. Now that they are older, it has gotten slightly better, and we’ve also settled into a sort of routine for the season. The most fun part for me, is dressing them up!

The festivities began in earnest from their party in school on Thurs, the eve of the Lunar New Year.

They had a great time playing games in school, and sharing the party food each child brought. B won at musical chairs 3 times, so I’m told, and K won once. Apparently they played many rounds of it, within their own age group. I think it must have been as much fun to watch as to participate in! I can just imagine the little kiddies trying to secure a chair as the music stops.

The season’s festivities are synonymous with Lo Hei, or Yu Sheng. The plate pictured above was the first of many plates of the “prosperity toss” that we had this year.

We have one reunion dinner with my father-in-law’s extended family (20 pax), one large reunion dinner with my mother’s extended family (40 pax), one small reunion lunch with my parents, one small reunion dinner with my in-laws, and one large reunion dinner with my mother-in-law’s family (50 pax – in a four room HDB flat!). All these spread across at least 2 weekends of course.

On the first morning of the new year, the girls woke up bright and early, and cheerily posed for photos in their cheongsams which I bought from an online shop. The fit was just nice, and everyone loved how they looked.

Little samfoo girls

Thereafter, we visited 3 other homes (my dad’s extended family, my dad-in-law’s mum’s home, my mum-in-law’s extended family) before it was naptime. After naptime at my in-law’s place, the extended family came to visit, and thereafter it was two more homes! Exhausting, eh? Thankfully they are all in the vicinity.

As the years go by, I’ve come to get more into the groove of things. It’s a part of my ethnicity, it’s a part of family traditions, to go through the whole rigmarole. We may grouse about it, but I guess something will feel amiss if we didn’t celebrate as such for a year!

It’s nice to see everyone so cheery, and determined to be in a good mood for the new year. I have a ton of cousins, and we’ve managed to remain relatively (hur hur) close all these years. So it’s quite comfortable to meet up with them, to catch up on how their kids are doing, and to (at one point) gawk at how insane the primary school syllabus has become.

Swing in shadows

Just as long as the girls get their long afternoon nap, sanity prevails. It was also a scorching few days, and the girls really wanted a dip in this pool. But we didn’t bring their swimming things, so they had to content themselves with splashing their hands in the shallow water.

After visiting an uncle’s home – this is what I get when I say “smile”…

I must say I’m very thankful that since November, Singapore weather has been uncharacteristically cool. The nights are lovely, with almost wintry breezes coming through. We are now in February, and the winds are still cold. Long may this last.

On the third day, we went to church. I found this old couplet that I bought from a little Christian bookshop many years ago when I went on a mission trip to China. I put it up a few times, and hadn’t kept it well, so it was no longer in good condition. Nonetheless I think the words are beautiful, and have taken a photo of it for memory’s sake.

Couplet from a Christian bookstore in China.

With many relatives getting older, and some in ill health, I am thankful for the relatively good health of close family members, and the warmth of family during the many lunar new year gatherings. To everyone who celebrates the Lunar New Year, I hope you had a great few days, and that you’ll enter the Year of the Horse with much thanksgiving in your heart too!

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  2 comments for “As the year of the horse gallops in

  1. February 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    That is a lot of reunion dinners! And a lot of homes on the first day! Hats off to you for smiling through them 🙂 The girls look lovely in all their CNY finery.

    • February 6, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Thanks dear! Was so glad the second and third days were much more relaxed.

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