Happy Lunar New Year!
Hello world! This is Lenny, reporting from Taiwan :)
First off, fun fact for you: I used to call this celebration Chinese New Year, but recently corrected my self to refer to it as Lunar New Year, because it is not only celebrated by Chinese, but Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and lots of other people too!
Yesterday was the last day of the lunar year, and we celebrated by having reunion dinner (年夜飯/團圓飯) together with my grandparents and my uncle's family. We don't have a lot of traditions in the family, only preserving the essence of New Year celebrations- to be with family and loved ones.
A typical New Year's Eve would begin with a feast (like I posted on Instagram) , traditionally everything on the table should have symbolize different meanings such as longevity, prosperity, luck, or other good stuff you wish for, but in our household, the only rule is to bring out the good stuff. Highlight of this (last?) year's dinner was the HUMONGOUS shrimps!! I have never had shrimp that comes with roe inside, it's just so good! Definitely a luxury food item fit for special occasions like New Year's Eve.
After dinner, we watch TV and play board games or cards. Most families play Mahjong, but somehow no one in my family does. Maybe we are just not gamblers? Our game of choice was Big 2, I was on a losing streak for a dozen rounds and I was losing my pants (輸到脫褲) and my temper, then I completely turned the table around and won! A good omen for this year? Of course, constant snacking is a must, whether you like to munch on nuts, fruits, or have another helping of that delicious but huge fish.
After some food and fun, the most/least important part comes- getting hongbao(紅包) ! I am very lucky to have a small family with few kids, so that the "resources" are not spread out haha. Unfortunately, there will be not exciting shopping activity for me, because I'm still in debt to my dad for a trip I had and going crazy during sales season in 2013 and I plan to repay the debt first. I did but some clothing yesterday though, it was on sale, how could I not?
I find it conflicting that I want to pay for the trip and vanity items myself, even though I'm still on allowance and gets hongbao from my parents. College kid problems. For now, I would just have to enjoy my hongbao, because next year, I might be giving instead of getting them!