5 "Musts" To Do Before Chinese New Year


Chinese New Year is...tomorrow. Holy crap, that really sneaked up on me. But yes, today is Chinese New Year's Eve, and almost all of you are probably reading this on your smartphones in the massive crawl back to your respective hometowns. Happy jamming!

I kid. Going back home for the holidays is a definite must, because when else can you be bombarded by questions about your life by 20 different relatives you haven't seen since last Chinese New Year? What fun, right? Since I'm a KL boy, and I'm staying in my hometown, I have different must-dos to complete before the big day hits.

Here are 5 things I MUST do before Chinese New Year every year. It's probably the same as with most of you, I hope.

#5 Must cut hair

See, saloons and hairdressers are usually filled to the brim in the days leading to Chinese New Year. There's this "tradition", I suppose, which requires one to go for a haircut. The explanation behind it is that since it's a new year, one must cut away the bad luck/burden of the old year so it doesn't carry over. Yup, that makes so much sense. This picture of mine was taken during my annual CNY haircut. See a difference? Me neither.

Oh, and because the demand is so high, you should probably know that the prices are too.

#4 Must buy new year clothes

Less of a tradition and more of an excuse for kids to get new clothes. This "tradition" began back in the day when people wore the same 3 shirts over the span of a year and didn't buy a dozen clothes while in Bangkok (ahem guilty ahem). In those days, the new year signified a new beginning, and a new set of clothes. I'm blessed to be able to buy clothes whenever I need it, without waiting for CNY to come but this "tradition" has still stuck on till now.

#3 Must get many angpao packets

All of these are empty.

This is largely an auntie thing. Go shopping with your mom/auntie and watch the magic unfold as they try their best to secure as many packets of angpaos as humanly possible. This behavior is weird because
a) the angpao packets are empty and
b) the angpao packets have to be filled with OUR money.
Hoarding angpao packets is the same as buying a vending machine for your home; it's a fantastic place to keep your drinks, but you'll still have to pay for it.

#2 Must buy more cookies

Chinese New Year visitation is basically a time for people to go on visitations and gorge themselves silly on Chinese New Year cookies. It's the only guilt-free time of the year when it's rude NOT to clean out your hosts' house because you'd expect them to do the same to you. Therefore, each house must have a steady amount of new year cookies to satisfy every single guest. Not feeding your guests on Chinese New Year is equivalent to giving each of them slaps across the face. It's rude, and it hurts.

#1 Must clean up the house

Yeah, while I generally dislike having people come into the sanctuary of my house, I have to accept the fact that yes, there will be people my house for Chinese New Year, and no, it cannot look like a pigsty under any circumstance. Plus there's that rule that one cannot sweep the floors during Chinese New Year because sweeping the floors = sweeping away your ong. Or something like that. I never really listen to my elders.

Have you done ANY of these 5 musts do yet? If you haven't, you better get cracking because today is already Chinese New Year Eve so you don't have too much time left.

By the way, my family has done it again, producing another video for Chinese New Year after last year's Balik Kampung. This time around, it's a pretty sad video about how we're all going home for Chinese New Year, but not exactly BEING home for our family and friends, with almost everyone engaged with a gadget of some sort. Just a friendly reminder, put down the phones and talk to your family members this year.

Have a happy Chinese New Year to everyone celebrating it. Don't get into a coma of any sort.


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