There are three elements associated with Chinese New Year: family, food and fireworks.
I recently watched a documentary in which someone said that if you don’t return home to be with your family during Spring Festival, then “life is pointless”. Family is everything here. So to ensure that my life had some value, I spent the holiday with someone else’s family…
My boss, Mrs. Li, invited Alex and I to have a traditional NYE dinner at her parents’ home. The engagement started at 6, so I decided to have a little gathering of my own before then…kind of like a Spring Festival Pregame.
The usual Tengzhou crew (Ricky & Alex) +1 (Glep, Alex’s childhood friend) came over around 2. There was food, silver & gold spirits, and positive energy everywhere. The energy turned dim after one too many drinks. These guys say A LOT OF CRAZY STUFF when they’re drunk…but whatever…it was the holiday.
Later that night, I had the pleasure of eating some amazing Chinese food, including homemade dumplings. Mrs. Li’s parents were so sweet. Her father offered me some bai jui (China’s soul-stealing elixir), but I respectfully declined. Alex went toe-to-toe with her dad and ended up getting s-m-a-s-h-e-d.
Around 9pm, my boss took us back to my place, where we resumed our party from earlier. Ricky & Glep came back with fireworks!!! At 11:40 we all rushed downstairs to start our fireworks show and bring the new year in with a B A N G. I feel like the entire neighborhood was in the courtyard with their stash of sparklers, firecrackers and rockets. There wasn’t a place you could turn without seeing sparks of light. At midnight, the sky was illuminated.
There is something magically loud and dangerous about Spring Festival. Not only did I see some epic fireworks, but I managed to get hit with them a few times (including once in the eye), and almost suffered from a burst eardrum.
My fav Chinese holiday ended around 2. Everyone went home and I passed out…a great holiday celebration behind me, an even better year ahead of me.