As I've mentioned many times before, I simply love the Chinese New Year and all the celebrating that goes along with it. I might be an American but I married a Chinese man. He doesn't consider American holidays to be just my holidays. They are OUR holidays. And Chinese holidays aren't just his holidays. They are OUR holidays too.
Even if it means we have to spend it with the trolls.
Small Chinese New Year, as my husband calls it in English, is about one week before the actual gigantic Lunar New Year celebration. Traditionally, the people of China just couldn't wait to kick off the festivities, so they started having a smaller celebration one night the week before just to tide them over. There's tons of food, drinking and fireworks but it is all small-scale compared to what will take place next week.
Last year, we had to go to my in-laws' house for the occasion. This year, because I'm pregnant with their second grandchild, they were happy to come to us. The real reason is that their house truly stinks worse than 1,000 silent-but-deadly farts intermingling with fish guts, but my husband would never tell them this. You are actually supposed to go to the older family members' homes because it is considered rude otherwise. So it is truly a blessing that they agreed to come to our home for this and the official Chinese New Year holiday.
And it IS fun. Despite my in-laws' being here. And the mess being created in my kitchen. And my inability to drink anything with alcohol in it thanks to the sweet baby inside of me. At least here, our home is cleaner, more comfortable, has more than just Chinese cable TV, is filled with all of Raelynn's toys and I can sneak away to play on my computer. Excellent!
So, on a smaller scale, fireworks have been going off most of the evening. But when the real deal happens, it will be a constant din of popping and kabooms outside. Now, it is becoming more intermittent as the night wears on. During the actual Chinese New Year celebration, Raelynn will likely have to sleep with us because the noise is so intense.
The food is supposedly on a smaller scale too, but you wouldn't know it looking at it. Oh no no no. And this is one of the few times where MIL's cooking is spot-on. She pulls out all the stops for this mini-fiesta and goes even bigger for the official day.
So, let's take a look at my 4th Small Chinese New Year celebration, shall we?
the Chinese restaurant we went to recently. She killed it. Why she doesn't make this more often I will never know.
Someday, when we move away from here, I will absolutely miss the Chinese New Year festivities. Definitely not the fireworks. Or my in-laws. But the rest of it, for sure. It's why finding a community where other Chinese people live is very important to me. Jeremy will be sad if he can't celebrate this holiday, much like I'd be if I couldn't celebrate Christmas. I want to be sure we find a place where we can celebrate the Chinese New Year, both small and big.