Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Lunar New Year!

Not long after we stuffed ourselves silly over the Christmas season, we are doing it again during the Lunar New Year festivities.  Time zones aside, many Chinese, Koreans and others who live by the lunar calendar, will be celebrating the biggest event (after winter solstice) in the year.

Many of us will gather to have a "reunion dinner" with relatives.  Some of us will eat at home, and hotpot is a favourite, especially if you're in a cold area.  Others will head out and battle the crowds for mediocre mass-cooked food at restaurants booked well ahead of this day.  I'm in the latter category, and I will have to wait another 2 hours to sit down to dinner.

There are generally 2 seatings at most restaurants in Singapore.  While only a handful have fixed seatings throughout the year, the majority of "Toms, Dicks and Harrys" can do that this evening.  It's their annual claim to fame.  They don't even have to do a good job of it.  I'm keeping fingers crossed though.  My family is headed to Man Fu Yuan at the Intercontinental Hotel tonight.  I recall that it was decent some years ago.  I hope it still is...

Over the next few days, and it's a long weekend for all, there will be endless visitations with friends and relatives, and of course stuffing ourselves sillier over pineapple tarts, love letters, bak kwa (sweet barbecued pulled pork) and other stuff that we really shouldn't have too much of.  Follow this with lots more heavy duty lunches and dinners of abalone, dried oysters, and other delicacies with plays on auspicious Chinese words and of course in Singapore only, the YuSheng Lo Hei (tossed raw fish salad).  Maybe I should reschedule my annual medical... How long does fat and the bad cholesterol stay in one's body?

Celebrations wherever you are, will tend to centre around feasting.  It's how it's been from time immemorial.  It's how the human being is.  Not going hungry was a huge achievement.  It still is for those who go hungry in other parts of this world.  If you have access to this blog, you're probably already in a much better place than most.  Be thankful.  Spare a thought for those who are not so fortunate.  Even if we cannot do anything for them today, keeping them in our thoughts will ensure that the struggle for better lives is continued and not lost.  

For those in politically bad situations (aka Egypt) or bad weather or consequences thereof (US East Coast, Brisbane), our thoughts and prayers are with you.  

Here's wishing one and all a very happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Rabbit!  


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