Resident Blog

CNY 2020

One of my friends kept using the abbreviation CNY in her messages to us. At first, I did not pay much attention to the significance of it as she was using it in reference to plans with other friends. Finally, after seeing it pop up for about the third time I did a quick internet search. Ah ok! Made sense. She was referring to the Chinese New Year Celebration.


Having been born and brought up in the western hemisphere my scope was limited to the traditional observance of a new year, January 1st. It's the first day of year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar. In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the day was dedicated to Janus, god of gateways and beginnings, for whom January is also named. As a date in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom, New Year's Day marked the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, which is still observed as such in the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church. The Roman Catholic Church celebrates on this day the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.


In present day, for those following the Gregorian calendar, fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts in each time zone is prevalent. Other global New Year's Day traditions include making New Year's resolutions and calling one's friends and family.


The Chinese New Year however, is a weeklong festival starting from the first day on the traditional Chinese calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival. It begins on the new moon that appears between January 21st and February 20th. This year, the first day of the Chinese New Year was on Saturday the 25th of January, which initiated the Year of the Rat. Neighbouring cultures have also been influenced by this Lunar New Year celebration, so not only our Chinese housemates at Oakhouse Ichigao West, but also our Korean and Vietnamese housemates came together to share 'hot pot' and ring in the new year at midnight.


Within China, regional customs and traditions include the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day to be regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner, every family has to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include that of good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.

Luckily, I was able to hang around for a bit and share in some of the traditions for the first time.
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Hair Monster

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I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.

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