Monday, January 23, 2012
Chinese New Year is not just another Public Holiday...
Today marks the beginning of the Chinese lunar New Year, my family and I would like to send our best wishes to all friends and relatives and especially to our grand nephew Matteo in Switzerland, who is the newest addition of our tribe.
Chinese New Year which is better known as Chun Jie (spring festival) in China remains steep in tradition and is the most important festival on the Chinese calendar. And with good reason. Chinese New Year like spring season which symbolises the beginning of the year, and offers another fresh start in one’s life. In the same way that spring ushers a new season of growth and vitality in Mother Nature’s world, it heralds fresh hopes for happiness and prosperity among us.
While many modern Singaporeans, Chinese New Year are just another public holiday but with the hassle of organising family reunion dinners, visits to friends and relatives, exchange of gifts and ang pows (lucky monies) to the elders, young and unmarried members of the family. Personally, I would like to think Chinese New Year celebration as a time for reaffirming family and kinship ties and serves to remind us of the important position the family as a unit, occupies in our modern society.
The Chinese New Year is so deep rooted that train tickets are a prized commodity in China at this time of the year with virtually the whole country rushing home to be with their family in time for the celebration which is celebrated over a period of 15 days which begin today. For millions of Chinese migrant workers, the Chinese New Year is the only chance they get all year to go home and see their family. Such was the importance of the celebration that the biggest of human migration in the world had happened in China in the past few days. In the context of modern day Singapore, where there is no great distance to travel it would not be a big ask to visit family elders to show their appreciation and demonstration of love and respect that binds family members together. Kong Hee Huat Chye!