This is the first Chinese New Year we’ve spent with the family in China since returning home and it has been one explosive holiday (pun intended)! So in lieu of the usual Friday content, I thought I’d share the day’s excitement with you through photos.
Wish you all success in the year of the horse! 马到成功！
Red couplets — just written by my father-in-law — frame the doorway to the family home and welcome the new year (and the Spring)
My husband John gives our bedroom door a thumbs-up, now that we have a freshly written “success in the horse year” (马到成功) pasted on for good luck!
Visiting the ancestors’ graves, offering them dinner, incense and money for the afterlife.
Family bustling in the kitchen to prepare the big new year’s eve dinner, known as nianye fan (年夜饭)
Before we even sit down to dine, ancestors eat first. Here my family sets the table for them in the entrance way, right down to lighting the candles.
John sets the firecrackers out by the gate to the family home.
Burning money for the ancestors while setting off firecrackers in the background.
The best meal of the year, nianye fan (年夜饭). Since 10 of us sat down for dinner, my mother-in-law said we needed at least 20 different dishes on the table. My favorites? Taro root, winter bamboo, vegetarian meatballs, and water chestnuts.
The whole family gathers around the table for dinner.
Giving the kids in the family hongbao (red envelopes filled with money) for the new year.
Raise the red lanterns! It’s nightfall and the year of the horse is galloping our way.