The Year of The Rat

Yesterday was the first day of Chinese New Year 2008, according to the Chinese calendar, it’s the year of the Rat (or Mouse). Which is my year, which means I am either 12, 24, 36 or 48 this year. You pick.

And that was how Chinese keep track of our age in the ancient times before paper calendar was created.

This Chinese New Year eve (fell on the 6th February), we rejoice with our family and fraternal relatives at our home for a reunion dinner. Pretty much like thanksgiving dinner.

Chinese New Year is about tying red ribbons and clipping red packets (ang pow) to plants and leaves.

ang pow tree

It’s about hanging big and small lanterns all over the house, your shop, on the street, by the windows and in your toilet. (kiddin about the last one)

tang longs

It’s about honoring your ancestors on the first day by giving them the first dish cooked that morning and afternoon. (why do I sound like Mulan)


It’s about having all your relatives over from around the world and have their cars cramped up your front, back and side yards.


It’s about cooking big and small pots and food enough too feed an army of hungry German soldiers (the German reminds me of meat eaters) for a month.


It’s about making Kory happy.


It’s about matching red CNY costumes.

matching cny kids
Their grandma is a tailor

It’s about Yee Sang (the only dish where you get to toss its food around, the higher the better)

yee sang

It’s about Mah Jong (no, poker doesn’t count, not Chinese enough)

gold mah jong

and losing a lot of money while you’re at it

mah jong
“yap san yao?”

It’s about looking good and new for a fresh start of a brand new year.


And having fun with your niece and nephews

me and kids
Omg I’m an aunt!

Very much like Christmas, it’s also about giving (not receiving ok, 10 years down the road and see whether if you’ll agree with me), but instead of presents, we have ang pows with money inside; usually given from the married elder to the single younger, it’s the only year you’ll be glad you stay single.

give ang pow
Mom with her neck cast after surgery

As for now, it’s all about receiving. Ke ke~

lots of ang pows

Oh look, new RM50 notes.

new RM50
When are they going to stop changing notes.

But most importantly, it’s about coming back home from miles away, from wherever you are, however long you have not been home, to tip toe the night before eve to see your love ones sleeping safe and soundly, knowing your presence keep them satisfied.

mom sleeping

Do you have a good Chinese New Year?


34 kissed Nicole

  1. Omg....i duno Malaysia
    already change new notes of RM50.
    Lolx...Since when it change?
    I came to UK here last year
    Sep. Nobody tell me about this ><

  2. aiks. is it true that those RM50 notes are limited or something?

    getting fancier and fancier with each re-vamp.. hahaha.

    happy CNY! :D

  3. 1,2,3.... 3 years for not celebrating CNY with families are pain in the ass! I really miss the atmosphere and the angpaos(obviously).
    And woot! RM50 notes changed again?!
    Seems I miss too many things in Malaysia and sometimes really need to thank you for posting those photos of restaurants which I never heard of them before I came abroad..Cheers!

  4. Ouch!!i didn't know you have dog...what a cute dog...

  5. Happy CNY to you and your family! The year of rat would be good to you :)

  6. Wah~ Many red Ang Pows U got there...Happy Chinese New Year...(^_^)

  7. Wish you Happy Chinese New Year from team :)


  8. tq for sharing. you are so lucky. you must always remember that. Happy Chinese New Year.

  9. Akh you just made me miss celebratin CNY in Msia 100x more >_<'

  10. Happy CNY. You look very pretty.

  11. Oh yea, my CNY is perfect...hope u r havin the same, Nicole!

  12. hi there, hope you still remember me! thanks for the great meal and company in malacca the other day =) It was really nice knowing you. Have a great festive season, Happy Chinese New Year =) Best wishes for good health, wealth and happiness!

  13. Nope.. I'm working on these days.. because am in Brisbane.. They don't really celebrate CNY here except you go to Chinatown. :)

    We do have some lion dances along the main streets (e.g. Queen Street Mall) and got many locals curious.

    So this year is my forth of missing out CNY...

    ~ William Tan

  14. chinese new year has been great so far.. :)

  15. aaaaah I wanna go home for CNY!

  16. Nicole,

    you make those who are not in their home town envy. include me.
    Didnt hear about the new notes. Luckily you updated us.

  17. the new RM50 looks weird la...

  18. Wow, you're having a very happy new year! Lovely gathering! Happy CNY to you!

  19. The new RM50 note looks ugly. o.O LOL. The last pic of the post is so sweet! Oh and happy cny! =D

  20. the RM 50 looks like RM1 notes. I might get confuse the next time im back in Malaysia for holidays.

    Happy CNY!! You're lucky that u get to celebrate it with friends, and most importantly your family!!

    This has been the 4th year for me. More to come..:(

  21. Yee Sang! I LOVE Yee Sang. It's one of the best bits of CNY for me! :) Happy Chinese New Year!

  22. Firstly, Happy CNY to you, nicole.

    And why the gov change the rm 50 note? Sigh, it looked like a piece of batik note.

  23. cannot do yap san yao cuz the deck not suitable normal win can liao.

  24. Hi Nicole! I was browsing you photos taken during the CNY and something caught my eye. Just curious, are you 'heng hua lang'? If you're not then i guess you won't understand my question but your 'mi suah' photo happen to resemble the 'heng hua mi suah' that my grandma would prepare every year during CNY. Anyhow, have a happy CNY!

  25. ya.. i'm 1/2 of heng hua too.. dunno how to speak, but i like heng hua mee a lot man...!!
    happy cny!

  26. really love the post! good updates on the note change too =p otherwise i d be so outdated from the new stuff...

  27. It's advisable that you print the word "specimen" over the notes whenever one shows them or you may face problems with the authorities...nevertheless, thank you for sharing your CNY...Gong Xi Fa Cai

  28. Gong Xi Fatt Chai Nicole!!
    havin a great CNY so far :) wah sehh... u got lots angpow worr..some more got new RM50..

    looks kinda weird to me..especially with the super bright red color hibiscus flower in the middle of the note :P

  29. had a hell of a time in mlk too during CNY... its a shame we diden meet up to pass u cookies 4 ur good deed on the 12th... in btw, i do hav some clothes to giveaway, how do i go about it? normally i will just shipped to an agent in siem reap 2 pass 2 the poor in the floating village... do advice...

  30. I only get 1 ang pao that have RM 50 note, and it's old note.