What Chinese New Year Means to Me

What Chinese New Year means to Me


Chinese New Year (CNY) basically is a new year based on a Chinese Calendar. Normally, we celebrates Chinese New Year with our family, having a big New Year’s Eve dinner, visits families and relatives, exchanging Angpaos, and so many more.

“What Does CNY Mean To You?” For me, Chinese New Year is like that one day in a year where you can really gather with relatives that you don’t meet very often. Since my parents are divorced, it’s really hard for me to adjust my ‘time’ in CNYs. And the ‘time’ I mean is like the division of my time, the time I spend with Mum or Dad. And sometimes, like almost every time it’s very difficult for me to be fair to both of them. Usually, Dad goes back to Riau with his family (my grandparents, aunts, uncles from my Dad’s side) so, I have to spend time with my Mum and relatives from my Mum.

CNY to me is like a “once in a year family gathering”. The night before New Year, we usually go out for dinner with our families, either at home or in a typical Chinese restaurant. But for me, especially me, I need to choose between going out with my Mum or Dad. You see? Not all occasions are fun. It’ll make me feel bad if I just go out with one of them. It felt like I’m not being fair. You know what I meant. But, luckily, this year, I was sick and I spent my CNY at home, resting because of fever which leads to dengue. Great.

BUT, the most crucial and important and very meaning thing to me in Chinese New Year is …..The Angpao! Angpao is a traditional Chinese red envelope which contains money in it as a present to welcome Lunar New Year or as you know it as Chinese New Year. The special meaning of Angpao is simple. Anglo is given by he or she who has gotten married to children. The purpose is to appreciate the increase of age and year and to chase away the calamity. A friend of mine once said, AngPao is for our good health and study for the new year. Of course there are tons of speculations or opinions about what’s the purpose of Angpao itself. Enough story and let’s move on to what I think about Angpao.

Angpao to me is money. Once a year, you can actually pay dinner for your parents, buy them movie tickets, and treat them like they treat us. Using the Angpao I get of course. I’d love to do it for my parents. Imagining them working hard everyday for me and my sister, to earn money that I spent everyday, to pay the food I take, to pay the bills of my education, and many more is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking because for example if I asked them, “Are you hungry?”, they’ll answer “No” to me and let me eat the food they actually wanted to eat. Do you get what I mean? It’s like they sacrifice everything for me. And it makes me cry every time I think about it. So I really would love to treat them like that. It’s like re-paying them for what they’ve done for me. Once a year. And I hope, when I’m older, I can take care of them like they take care of me until this moment and till’ the future.

So in the end, CNY to me is all about family. The time you spend with them, the memories you make during all the visits to the relatives family, the laughter and joy, the tears and sadness you shared together as a family, the things you can do for them that you can’t do in any other days, all of it in one or two days in a year. (Priscilla Agatha/AAA/MM).

– Priscilla Agatha –