Photo Essay: 2016 Chinese New Year’s Eve at the Family Home

We’re busy celebrating Chinese New Year, the biggest holiday of the year here in China, at John’s family home in rural Hangzhou. I thought I’d share a few photos from Chinese New Year’s Eve.


It was a lovely day to celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve, with some of the most gorgeous blue skies of the winter.


My brother-in-law took his daughter to pay her respects to the spirits in an old camphor tree beside the river, as he does every year on this day.


On Chinese New Year’s Eve, ancestors come first. Here we pay our respects to the ancestors at their table, filled with dishes fresh from my mother-in-law’s kitchen.


Let’s eat! It’s the most wonderful dinner of all the year, the table loaded with delicious dishes made by my amazing mother-in-law. (I consider her kitchen one of my favorite “restaurants” in China… 😉 )


As usual, John is one of the last to leave the table — he loves to eat, and takes his time. Here he’s enjoying some free-range chicken raised by my mother-in-law (his favorite dish of the evening).

Wishing you all a very auspicious and prosperous year of the monkey! Happy Chinese New Year!

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20 Replies to “Photo Essay: 2016 Chinese New Year’s Eve at the Family Home”

  1. I don’t know how to write in Chinese characters, but Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your husband and both your families! 🙂 I won’t be celebrating New Years because baby’s father is pretty busy with school and so forth, although I’m crossing my fingers for next year that we will find a way to celebrate New Years because I want for my future child to be exposed to Chinese culture, holidays and traditions. (Baby is half Eastern-European Jewish and half Chinese of Hong Kong descent.)

    1. Hi Sveta, thanks for the greetings — wishing you an auspicious lunar new year too! I’m sure you and the baby’s father will find a way to celebrate New Year’s to expose him to his culture. I know how committed you are and that’s the most important thing. You’re going to be an awesome mom.

  2. Gung her fat choi! (Sadly, I have now exhausted all my Cantonese unless we’re going to talk about food.)

    Love the blue skies and your husband’s red jacket. Is he a Monkey? I learned in today’s blog hop that you’re supposed to wear red if it’s “your” year.

    1. Thanks Autumn! Happy Chinese New Year to you too!

      No, my husband isn’t a monkey, actually. He’s a horse. But yeah, you are right, you must wear red if it’s your year for good luck. So they say. I religiously wore red every day on my most recent zodiac year…but it was still a disaster!

  3. Happy new year. All the best for the year of the monkey. Your new year’s eve looked good. We too had a lovely meal with the family and totally enjoyed the time being together.

  4. Happy New Year Jocelyn! 猴年快乐!

    Your photos are great (and you all look so cold and bundled up, haha!). The food looks spectacular, as usual 🙂

  5. Happy new year, Jocelyn! I am ashamed to say that as we went on a trip (as usual during CNY holidays), my CNY celebrations consisted in a lunch at a restaurant with my MIL’s side of the family! That was it!

  6. 猴年快乐!

    I really enjoy your photo essays Jocelyn – particularly pictures of rural Hangzhou and daily life there as I imagine it is rare for a foreigner to experience this.

    I spent Lunar New Year with the family of the person I am staying with in Taiwan – I, along with the family’s first grandchild, received my first 红包 🙂

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