Happy Chinese New Year! Asians all over the world are celebrating the Lunar New Year and the year of the pig, beginning with the spring festival before the grand finale of the lantern festival takes place, this year, February 16-19.
When I visited China for the first time, I was in total awe of this magical country with its friendly people and extraordinary skyscraper landscapes. My dad had taken up a project in Wuxi, just 2h west of Shanghai and I was blessed enough to spend time in both cities, each wonderful in their own way. China was so strange to me, from the chicken feet for dinner, the soup with the little fish with big black eyes looking back at me from my spoon to the plain hot water to drink. There was so much to learn and understand, and I was all in to comprehend the customs of my hosts. This was 12 years ago, when travelling to Asia was still a novum and Chinese customs were not as well-known as they are now.
What a lovely coincidence then, that during my stay exploring the land of the dragon, China celebrated its New Year and the commence of the year of the pig (2007), just as it is this year!
I have never seen so many fireworks in my life. For days fireworks were continuously shot into the sky, filling it with THE fanciest lightshow and sparks as well as thick smoke. Family friends were my trusted source to learn more about this rich Asian culture and were delighted to explain all there was to know about their own family’s CNY traditions.
Since then I have made up my own canon of CNY specials for celebrating CNY with my loved ones. Though celebrating CNY is not my native culture, it is more a way to remember my fabulous first time in china – the yummy food and great laughs I had with dear friends and family.