My First (or second?) Chinese New Year

Last year during Chinese New Year I was travelling and kind of missed the whole celebration. New Year’s eve I was in a train from Beijing to Pingyao, on Lantern Festival I saw fireworks in Guilin (see the picture). This year I spent the most important holiday at Guangzhou with my boyfriend, my mother and my younger little brother.

First two days were for shopping because we were worried that the shops would close soon, as they did. On 30th and 31st we made some good deals at Haizhu square and near the railway station. It didn’t even matter that some of the shops (all at railway station) were closed, because they were still selling rest of the stuff outside.

We also took a two hour cruise on Pearl river admiring the lights and tall building. As well as spend some more money at game hall and saw some cute and not-so-cute animals at Chenglong Zoo. Following the tradition we went to two temples to wish lots of success, money and love for the year of the rabbit. Accidentally we also found a flower festival street near Chen Clan Academy and ate lunch at a very Cantonese restaurant. My little brother was brave enough to try to chicken feet!

The first day of the new year my mom and little brother finally visited my home. “You really live in a place like this?” my brother asked me when he saw the village I’m living in. My boyfriend made some potatoes, beef, shrimps and pork for us to eat and rest of the time we spent playing billiard by the river. I’m a really terrible in it and it didn’t really help that all the Chinese people where staring at us.

The last night I spent in the Pullman airport hotel with my mom and brother. They had a early flight the next day and it’s quite hard to find a taxi in the University Town where they were staying in the island’s only hotel. The taxi driver didn’t really understand my first when I was trying to explain we want to go to the hotel next to airport but finally asked that is it the hotel that has man in the name. Seems that Pullman is something like pu’er’man in Chinese.

All in all I managed to have quite a traditional Chinese New Year even I forgot to wear my red lucky underwear. I depended on my boyfriend a lot and he did his best to explain to me what kind of decorations we could buy and what does the holiday mean to Chinese people and to him. I really enjoyed the holiday and think it will become more and more important to me in the future.

One worrying thing is that now the time from December to February is not only time to celebrate but also time to spend money. Chinese workers work really hard the whole year in order to go back home for Spring Festival and give money to their family members and relatives. Sometimes it makes me feel really selfish because I’m just dreaming of buying a new camera, and not to giving all my money to my loved ones.

I think I understood this week that my boyfriend doesn’t want money just for money. He wants me and his family to be happy and have a better life. He doesn’t plan to success and earn much to buy things for him. He wants to buy things for me and his relatives. Of course in order to do so he is talking about money all the time and what could be the best way to earn as much as possible as soon as possible. But I think that I understand him much better now.

This Chinese New Year was a time for me to learn and experience something new. A time to have fun with my family. But of course the holiday season isn’t over yet and I’m already waiting for the Valentine’s Day and the Lantern Festival.