Feb 25, 2016

6 On the first day of the Monkey Year ..

On the first day of Chinese New Year ..

    I jumped out of bed at 6am, showered and caught the sunrise! Every CNY, I'd have this spirit of seizing the day. On other days, I believe in staying in bed later than necessary and dreaming of breakfast in bed...who's with me?

Mum-in-law would be up early too. She puts in the final touches on her herbal chicken soup, which is to be eaten with misua. These noodles symbolise longevity. We began our morning (and this has been a yearly ritual) with an auspicious breakfast of misua in herbal chicken soup for long life to be blessed upon us.

Herbal Chicken Soup Misua

Right after that, and dressed in our new red t-shirts, hubs and I made our way outside to see the lion dance. We have always made it a point to wear red on the first day as it is said to symbolise prosperity and joy.

The troupe arrived at 8.15am and the lion dance was performed. Mandarin oranges were given out, the lettuce was plucked from a high ceiling, and the ang pao (red packet) taken in appreciation. The lion is said to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

The Lion Dancers Getting Into Position

Lion Dance

We went back into our home and waited to receive visiting relatives. Shouts of "Huat arh! Huat arh! " tells us they've arrived. There was lively banter, ang paos (red packets) were distributed to kids and unmarried persons, and a group photograph was snapped for remembrance. It has been this way for as long as I can remember!

In the afternoon, we all took a nap before making our way to a steamboat restaurant for dinner. This wasn't always the practice. This was something that began because it was more convenient than cooking at home. Also, mum-in-law is no longer the sprightly woman she once was. It would have been too taxing.

Steamboat Dinner

That ends the first day of the Monkey year for us. How did you spend your day on Chinese New Year?


  1. I need a bowl of herbal chicken soup too!

  2. Nice 1st day. We stayed till midnight on the eve to burn the firecracker so couldnt get up that early the next day. Everyone up before 8am as church started at 9.

    We also had misua for breakfast.

    Lion dance!! Kids and I did not get to see any lion dance this year!! A bit quiet; maybe due to heavy rain.

    1. Now that is fun! Wish the weather could have been better for you guys though. :D

  3. Delicious looking herbal chicken soup with misua. Lots of happening for you on the 1st day. We had a quiet 1st day.

    1. From the week nearest to the New Year and just a couple after, it's always a happening affair for us. It really looks like we celebrate it for a month!


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