Growing up in Singapore, in a traditional Chinese family, Chinese New Year has always been a huge thing for my family and relatives. My house would be decked in Chinese New Year decor. My parents would buy plants way before Chinese New Year just so they can blossom in time and my dad would tie little red ribbons around the flowers. We would shop for Chinese New Year goodies, hopping from one Chinese New Year fair to another, sampling the different kinds of goodies and eventually lugging back bags of them. When Chinese New Year rolls around, we would all be in our new clothes going visiting from house to house, and of course receiving red packets from our relatives. It was truly great fun and made up a huge part of my childhood.
I wanted the same for my children. But more importantly, in the midst of it all, I want them to always remember their Chinese roots, to be aware of the different kinds of Chinese traditions, and to be proud of their culture and heritage. In a country like Singapore where we have huge Western influence (tv shows, books etc), and where the majority of the younger generations converse mainly in English, it becomes even more important and essential to ingrain these in the children from young. And what better way to do these than through fun activities during the Chinese New Year season!