Today is the eve of the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. Being the last-minute type, we finally washed our cars (E) and gave Rusty a good haircut and bath (me) this morning! Apart from that we didn't do any spring cleaning and parts of the house are cluttered as usual. But, we did put up some Chinese New Year decor although not as elaborate as Christmas. That's because we didn't have very many existing decor items in the first place and I didn't get around to buying new ones! I certainly am not living up to the standards and example my elders, especially my grandparents, set those days when they were around...guilty, guilty....
Our house got a good wash (yes, with buckets and hoses) inside and outside from ceiling to floor those days, everything wiped and dusted and washed. Cushion covers, curtains changed, iron grilles and gates painted at least if not the entire house, exterior and/or interior. Home-made decor of various kinds were cut and made using CNY greeting cards, angpow packets, red paper, cookies and other goodies made or bought and exchanged between relatives, friends and neighbours. And a big cooking session would start early in the day with all the womenfolk congregating in the kitchen, preparing for the nights reunion dinner. My paternal side of the family was rather large. My grandpa had three wives, which was not uncommon those days, and since he lived with us, everyone would come to our house for the reunion dinner.
These days, families are smaller. Both E and I come from five-member families. His parents and mine similarly have two sons and one daughter. So tonight, we'll be heading to his parents' home to have the traditional reunion dinner with his parents and younger brother's family. Meanwhile, my parents will be having their reunion dinner with my younger brother's family only as my older brother and his family live abroad.
There's a few other differences between CNY then and now but I'll save that for another post maybe. Meanwhile, ACE wish family and friends a happy, hoppity Year of the Rabbit. May good health, wealth and happiness be yours throughout this year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!