Celebrating Chinese New Year in Phuket
I love visiting my family during Chinese New Year. It is a festive time, a time for family reunions, reconciliations, and a good time.
On February 1, the day before the New Year, my sister, sister-in-law and my mom were busy like we are every year, cleaning the house to sweep away ill-fortune. Then we spent most of the day shopping, cutting and stocking up the pantry.
It is our family tradition to hold Chinese New Year at my mom’s home, the main house where our ancestors lived long before. We place pictures of our ancestors on an altar and worship. On February 2 we woke up in the morning and were ready to cook our traditional dish feast at the same time the sun was rising, which is around 6:30am.
Slowly my nieces and nephews showed up and took part in helping, and the foods were placed on the table in front of the altar as we finished cooking.
I helped by shaping the steamed jasmine rice into tall peaks. The Thai word for this shape is Poon Pon which means plenty and fruitfulness. It is a symbol of wealth.
We offered two feasts, one inside our home in front of our ancestors (paternal side), and one in the back of our house for all departed relatives (maternal side) or people that once were related to us, and any wandering spirits. We invite them all to enjoy the feast.
At the end, we burn the gold paper and money paper to make it available for all the departed spirits.
At the end we had a feast together and while we were sharing the food, we catch up with each other and bond with food and the pride of our tradition.