Photo Essay: I Survived! Making it Through Chinese New Year 2016 with the Family

Every year, I swear this Chinese New Year is not going to kick my butt. And somehow, every year, I’m totally wrong on this.

Yes, Chinese New Year 2016 — welcoming the year of the monkey — has been an exhausting parade of lunches, dinners, toasts, and meetings.

By the last day I had rings under my eyes (the “panda” look that my husband kids me about) and a desperation about me that said, “Please, Chinese New Year, let me have a little peace and quiet.”

And so it came. Finally! I survived!

While I’m recovering from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I thought I’d share some of the pics from Chinese New Year 2016.

IMG_20160208_160634_BURST3New year, new picture of John and me in front of the family house. We may be smiling, but we’re beat. With all the fireworks set off all night, I got maybe four or five hours of decent sleep.

IMG_20160208_164147This is our first dinner of the new year at an uncle’s house. There’s lots of toasting, and lots of fantastic food. My husband’s aunt is an extraordinary cook and she happened to dish up a serving of Chinese-style kimchi more delicious than anything I’ve ever had (Must corner her and get the recipe!)

IMG_20160210_112440_BURST1Yeah, I know, eating again. Seriously, that’s the heart of this holiday. Lots and lots of lunches and dinners. As always, we ate…

IMG_20160210_165223…and ate…

IMG_20160213_113430…and ate!

IMG_20160213_112247Even when you’re not having lunch or dinner, people usually offer you lots of food to snack on. Notice the trays of assorted nuts, fruit and candies arranged on the tables before us.

IMG_20160213_142542Here I am at an aunt and uncle’s home, attempting (unsuccessfully) to snack on raw sugar cane. Sweet, but a little too pulpy for my taste. This was day 6. Do you see the fatigue on my face yet?

IMG_20160213_170645This is John and me at the end of the holiday. I’m looking haggard (see the “panda” eyes?) — and longing for a little peace. Fortunately, when we returned from this walk, the village was quiet. Finally, I could rest.

Wishing everyone a wonderful year of the monkey (with hopefully more sleep than I got during the first days of the new year)! 😉

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23 thoughts on “Photo Essay: I Survived! Making it Through Chinese New Year 2016 with the Family

  • February 15, 2016 at 8:50 am
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    Jocelyn, I don’t blame you. I was shattered by the end of the first day and of course suffered from good coma. I even fell asleep on the sofa at my cousin’s flat. You know it didn’t help for the fact that I was working 15 hour day at the office for the entire week leading up to the holiday.

    At least I managed to squeeze in a night hike up the hills with some friends to see the firework at the Victoria Harbour. That was fun.

    Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:35 pm
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      Oh my, poor Phil! You must have been so exhausted yourself! I’m glad you did manage to make a night hike up the hills, though. That must have been a nice break.

      Reply
  • February 15, 2016 at 9:33 am
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    Egads! Too much! Are you still living with Jhon’s parents?

    Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:36 pm
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      We spent Chinese New Year with them — there’s a suite in the family home that belongs to John me.

      Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:38 pm
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      Thanks! Wow, you are lucky to get a free pass on the holidays! Of course you have a good reason…a wonderful one!

      Reply
  • February 15, 2016 at 10:25 am
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    Awww…. I’ll cry a tear AFTER looking at ALL of those great looking meals… Nothing happened on our end here, and I’d LOVE to have the “problem” you had 😉

    Hope you recover. Send leftovers to: … 😉

    Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:39 pm
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      Ha ha ha! Anytime you want to come and be our stunt doubles, you’re welcome to it!

      Reply
  • February 15, 2016 at 11:07 am
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    Oh, my gosh, yes, you look exhausted, Madame Panda Eyes! Fireworks all night sound like my version of hell. You know they use fractured sleep to break down prisoners for interrogation, right? John, now is the time to ask Jocelyn ANYTHING!

    The food looks great, though. ALMOST worth the lack of sleep.

    Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:42 pm
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      Ha ha ha! Yeah, the food would almost be worth it…except the good stuff was not vegan, so I couldn’t really say.

      Reply
  • February 16, 2016 at 2:11 pm
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    Wow, and I thought Russian New Years Eve took a toll on us. It looks as if you need a vacation 😉 or a vacation from vacation teehee 🙂 So Chinese New Years is nothing but non-stop eating? Congratulations and get some rest 🙂 Hope you’ll feel better

    Reply
  • February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm
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    A happy new year to you Jocelyn! If you’ve made it through those Chinese family holidays, the rest of the year will be easy-peasy. 🙂

    Reply
  • February 17, 2016 at 3:25 am
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    So many days can surely leave someone exhausted. Here we only celebrated one day as everything was back to normal/ work afterwards for our customers so we didnt get much of this New Year. The only thing we actually had of the festivities was eating a lot and watching the CCTV New Year Gala…

    Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:43 pm
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      Yeah, it could definitely exhaust. Yours sounds a lot simpler and less exhausting. I would have liked that.

      Reply
  • February 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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    LOL. It is definitely very tiring with all these social events. But I still have fond memories of that and miss it tremendously. Maybe because I was a kid back then. Anyway, Happy New Year!

    Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:44 pm
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      I’m sure you would have fond memories from your time as a kid. Chinese New Year is best for kids!

      Reply
  • February 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm
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    Each year I think Chinese New Year get progressively worse? This is my fourth year and I had to tell my boyfriend in tears if one more person called me “pang” or poked my fat or asked us when we’re going to get engaged (over and over again they asked) I was going to screeeeeam. Also, I’m not eating for the remainder of the year. Happy Year of the Monkey, everyone.

    Reply
    • February 19, 2016 at 9:44 pm
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      Oh no, that’s terrible K! Hope your boyfriend was understanding!

      Happy Chinese New Year!

      Reply
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