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Thursday, 19 March 2015

My Chinese New Year 2015

Alright, this is like a super delayed post, I admit. But still, I've had an amazing Chinese New Year celebration and I wanted to document it so I've decided to pen this down with loads of photos! Read if you're interested to see how I spent my holidays, my last break before I started working haha. 

As a kid, I've always loved CNY and my family is a huge part of the reason why I love the festivities so much. Sometimes I see those CNY ads where people don't even want to find time to go home and I can't comprehend it.. Chinese New Year is such a joyous and fun time of celebration, albeit losing more of its traditional touch in these few years, but it is still a great way to remember tradition and reminisce good times spent with family. 

PS: Sorry the photos are blurred and the dimensions are kinda wonky because I took them with my iPhone mostly and some are cropped square to fit Instagram :p Still really bummed that I couldn't have my cam baby with me to capture the wonderful memories!

PS: You can find out more about my CNY outfits HERE! Yes, all 15 days! 
PPS: I just realised square photos look really bad on the computer lol.

Our family's schedule for New Year is pretty much fixed every year. We always start off by waking up super early in the morning to pray, then head off to the temple to pay respects to my late grandfather and aunt. After prayers, we will drop by Aeon to buy fresh sashimi for our special yeesang tomorrow morning before heading home for a steamboat feast, final spring cleaning and then head to my grandma's house for reunion dinner that night.

So yeah, we pretty much spend the day just eating lots and lots of homecooked food. :p This year was ultra special cos we did a potluck and one of my aunt ordered a peng chai from Dragon-i. It's basically a pot filled with all the goodies that you're supposed to have for New Year including abalone, prawns, scallops, etc to represent abundance. There were SO much food we couldn't even finish 'em :o

First yeesang of the year!

After dinner this year, we got to play fireworks and firecrackers! I'm still a kid at heart because I love playing these things lol. Love this photo cos we look like Harry Potter wizards :3

Before midnight, we always make it a point to stop by my maternal grandma's side to pray to the God of Fortune and/or God of Luck. My cousin Xynna FaceTimed us from the UK so I got everyone to gather and take a family photo for her haha. Spot her in the phone XD

12midnight - Happy New Year!!! It's like freaking World War 3 at my gram's place every year and you can literally see fireworks going off 360degrees when you're standing outside. It's such a magnificent (and noisy) sight!

Gramma said we have a Kong Ming lantern or sky lantern leftover from last year so we took it out to play haha. We're so used to playing this that we don't bother writing wishes on it now XD

Also, it was my idea for us three to wear the same DC Comic shirts dad bought us from the Superheroes Cafe in Puteri Harbour haha.

Final stop at Aunt Mary's house to play MORE fireworks and firecrackers before we head home for the night.

CNY Day 1
Freshest and most luxurious yeesang ever! We always look forward to starting the day off with our own little family specialty yeesang - shredded vegetables, salmon, the occassional abalone and topped off with lemon juice. Super easy to make but also super yummy. Wish we could have this everyday :p

Mum also cooks these sweet dessert for us which is supposed to represent sweetness for the year ahead, I guess.

After um, breakfast (?), we head to my paternal gramma's house to bainian. Nowadays dad gambles with the kids haha and I realised that I haven't gambled in recent years! Too lazy meh.

Dad's friends comes over every year to visit before we go to my maternal gramma's house for dinner. Because my mum has no time to cook, we usually tapao food for the guests. This year it's German beer food from Bierhaus, Austin. While waiting for the food, we ordered a bottle of white wine which comes with two tapas for our tea break. Enjoy life betul :p

CNY Day 2
No idea why we put firecrackers for our home on the 2nd day of Lunar New Year.. Cos 1st day can't sweep floor I guess? Haha.

The second day of CNY is usually the most fun for us cos we have a big family gathering at my granduncle and grandaunt's place. They will cook our fave food that are "exclusively" for CNY and being the gluttons that we are, we always look forward to these dishes :p I forgot to take pics of the food but I did bring my selfie stick so there were a lot of selfies taken. Allow me to spam you with selfies/wefies.

My two youngest cousin sisters literally spammed my phone like crazy with their selfies haha.

2nd Aunt usually cooks for us on the night of the second day and this year it's her very own rendition of peng chai! Super flavourful and yummy (Y)

Love this! Haven't taken a pic with all the cousins in a long time as we hardly meet now. Missing Xynna~

Jeff <3

Um, had to insert a selfie somewhere =P

CNY Day 3
The third day of CNY also happens to be my grandfather's death anniversary. Gramma cooks a huge feast and after prayers, we get to dig in to the yummy dishes! She also makes a huge plate of yeesang with a special plum sauce which we absolutely love because it's so appetising and fresh!

BEST. SOUP. EVER. Nyonya style itik tim or kiam chai ark, as we call it in Teochew, that nobody else seems to be able to cook better than her. She cooks up a HUGE pot of this with one whole duck and we manage to sapu finish every year without fail cos that's how good it is.

This year, the bf was ill so we only got to meet on the third day. Dropped by a few relatives' house to bainian before going to his house and spent some time with his family!

That night was the most fun night as usual cos my uncle will invite a famous lion and dragon dance to perform at his place for good luck every year. This year will be the last time he's hosting a big party like this so it was extra grand, imo.

Why is it so grand? Because this year, he invited glow-in-the-dark and LED lion & dragon dance! How cool is that! We suaku never watch before lah so we were super looking forward to it. They even had UV lights placed around the courtyard and we all looked psychadelic and shit.

Hi, we're Avatars.

I'm just gonna let the photos do the talking.

Hahaha. Every childhood ruined XD

The whole thing lasted for about 2 hours and we had like a mini chingay at my uncle's home. Woohoo so fun! It was like a freaking rave dy and we 'partied' till midnight or so before heading back.

CNY Day 4

Day 4 was spent having lunch w my aunt and we had Jap food! Can never get sick of it. Something other than Chinese food finally. Haha. Not that I'm complaining but I just super love my sushi and sashimi <3

After lunch, my parents and aunt & uncle decided that they wanted to take it slow for the day and go for a relaxing massage. We picked up my gramma and whilst they had their massages upstairs, my sis did her back massage and I did a pedicure. First time paying for this and erm, kinda con lor cos all the masseuse did was scrub off dead skin from my feet =_=

Whoa, digging for gold in a cave or what? Anyway we were done pretty quickly so my sis and I went over to Sutera Mall to shop after that. Got some pretty good buys for myself, woot!

My eldest cousin invited us over to her house for the first time for a steamboat dinner and our 4th (?) yeesang of the year. No photos of food but here's a collage with my cute niece.

CNY Day 5
Finally got to spend some time with my friends! I think this might just be the first time I went and bainian at friends' place in JB lol. Went to Dan's house first, met Eunice for lunch before dropping by Erica's place. Karaoke plan tak jadi but it's ok T.T

Cafe Racer by Grillbar. Food is good, just a little pricey. I love the soft-shell crab burger and lamb chop! We also had a little surprise for Erica's advanced birthday there and Eunice gave me my belated birthday gift from her and En :3

Baes <3

Dinner with Erica & Dan at some Taiwanese restaurant near my place, dapao-ed onigiri and last stop was my place. We played cards with my siblings and chat till 1am+ that day. Probably also the first time my friends spent so long at my place haha.

CNY Day 6
Image from kronik
Didn't do much the whole day except go for KTK dinner and movie with my fam. Kingsman was not bad! Ticket prices are crazy now btw :o

CNY Day 9
Haha sudden jump because I went up to KL the remaining days, which I'll be blogging about in another post. Anyway, I came back in the evening and bf picked me up. Went for a quick dinner of my favourite fried oyster omelette which I've been craving forever. Seriously, best oyster omelette in JB is at Queenspark Hawker at Perling (unless you can suggest to me a better one).

After dinner, the bf brought me for ice-cream at The Ice-Cream Project, which he had promised to bring me since my birthday. TIP serves only limited flavours of nitrogen ice-cream. It's quite pricey but overall quite nice lah, since you can't find this anywhere else in JB. I'd give it another try just to make sure haha. We bumped into his uni friends there so I just ate while they talked, basically. :p

CNY Day 10
Didn't do much except sleep, sleep and sleep. The whole extended family came over for dinner that night and we had our n'th yeesang whee.

CNY Day 11
1st day of March - also the bf's birthday! I made a cow bento for him. It's harder than it looks but I think I did a pretty good job? Haha. He says he loves Japanese curry but I play cheat lah got the instant packet and just heated it up for him haha. I guess he loved his surprise?

Dropped by CS after lunch to do some shopping. We saw the 1600 Pandas again! Got him a pair of Levi's cos his old jeans were quite tattered dy.

Dinner at Chef''s Table. I liked the place when I went there for Carousell Meetup back in January so I decided to bring him there. The food is well-prepared and service is exceptional. I forgot the name of the dishes but the chicken dish that I had was so good!

Surprise cake! When I called and booked, I got the blueberry cheesecake cos I had no idea what else they had on the menu. Didn't expect it to be deconstructed and so nicely presented!

Happy Birthday, my love 

CNY Day 12
My first day at work! Ok lah doesn't really count as CNY-log dy but I was still in the mood so why not document it? Haha. Everything's going great so far at work, in case you're wondering :)

CNY Day 13
Random photo of my breakfast XD

CNY Day 14
Random photo with the kids.

CNY Day 15
No photo dy so here's a photo of a random strawberry that my aunt planted XD Finally the last day of CNY! It's also my lunar birthday so I get extra angpaos, yay XD Every year, without fail, I listen to the story of how my mum was in the hospital giving birth to me when everyone was having reunion dinner haha.

(Pre) Chingay
Many don't really know what's Chingay. It's actually a procession of the Gods and it's held from the 20th - 22nd day of CNY (if I'm not mistaken). It's a huge event, some people purposely take leave from work just to be there for the whole ceremony. That's why I say that CNY doesn't truly end for Johoreans until Chingay is over. I didn't go for the actual procession but I did go to the temple the night before to pray. Love how they decorate it so nicely! 

24-drums performance that was quite impressive! They're so disciplined. There were also Chinese operas, choirs, etc so the whole place was crowded.

Bumped into my cousin sis and baby niece! 

Ending the loooonnnngggg post with this gorgeous photo I snapped by accident. I'm glad I got to spend CNY with my friends and family before I plunged into the working world (not as much holidays now T.T). I love spending CNY every year no matter how different, how boring because it reminds me of good times. :) 

I hope you've had a great celebration too because everyone deserves to be happy! :)


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