1. What are your morning rituals on the first day of CNY/before you start visiting?
First day of CNY, we wake up quite late as we go to bed past midnight the night before. This day we use all-new stuff — toothbrush, towels, our outfits and shoes, to represent a new beginning. Good things come, bad things go! Kids must wake up and need to greet us and say “good” words. We will also make sure all the “unlucky” things (brooms and mops) are kept in places where people cannot see.
2. What reunion dinner traditions do you have?
Every year we have two steamboats for reunion dinner. We would go to my mum’s place first to have one round. Then hop over to mum-in-law’s place for the second round! All three families stay very near together, so it’s so easy to hop from one to another.
3. Angpow practices — do you like giving your kids a special bag to keep them in? Do you make them carry the oranges to each house?
Actually whenever my kids received their angpows, they pass them to me to keep. I have two special CNY long-wallet bags to keep them. My kids will get to count how many angpows they got at the end of the day. As for carrying of oranges, I don’t really make them carry them; most of the time, they request to carry them for us! Then I teach them how to hold the oranges and what to say when they pass the oranges to our relatives or friends.
4. What goodies do you like to have available for visitors?
As pre-CNY is always my busiest period — I host many CNY roadshows — I don’t really have the time to prepare most of the CNY goodies. Thanks to my godmum, Aunty Irene, every year without fail, she hand-makes lots of delicious cookies and pineapple tarts for me. I am really grateful to her. Besides her cookies, I buy some assorted nuts, love letters, gummy sweets, chocolates and some potato chips.
5. What does CNY mean to you?
CNY means happiness, growing wiser every year, a time to celebrate and a time to catch up with relatives and friends whom we see once a year.
6. What’s your favourite CNY greeting? What’s your favourite CNY song?
My favourite CNY greeting is 心想事成! Be it health, wealth or happiness, whatever you wish for, you will achieve it. My favourite CNY song is the song sung by me and Cai Lilian, 幸福路 — Blessed Life. We recorded this song two years ago. This song originated from a xinyao tune. Fun and catchy, it’s especially suitable for kids and those with family.
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