Twas the Night Before Chinese New Year’s Day

Twas the night before Chinese New Year’s Day, and all through the house

We were busy preparing for the Year of the Mouse

The red couplets were hung by the doorway with care

In hopes of a lucky year for all who lived here

We had taken a moment to reflect and pray

As we remembered ancestors at the start of the day

The place had been tidied up just great

So we could start off the new year with a clean slate

We had laid out new clothes and dressed in red

To ensure auspicious times for the days ahead

The red envelopes were all stuffed with plenty of money

To promise a new year filled with prosperity

We had cooked up a feast for the year’s most important meal

Which we enjoyed among company with much gusto and zeal

On our comfiest couch did Jun and I stay

As the grand Spring Festival Gala on TV did play


At midnight, across China there arose such a clatter

But no need to spring up to see what was the matter

After all this was one of those holiday “perks”

Because people love to welcome the year with fireworks


But since Jun and I live in Beijing, where they are banned,

Surrounding us was a relatively quiet and serene land.

That was just fine, given our exhaustion was deep

And we desperately wanted a little good sleep.

And as we settled into bed, with the new year now in sight,

We said, “Happy Chinese New Year to all – and to all a good night!”

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20 Replies to “Twas the Night Before Chinese New Year’s Day”

  1. Happy Year of the Rat to you and yours, Jocelyn. There is a pretty nasty pulmonary bug called 2019nCOV floating around that has already sickened hundreds and killed 17 in the Wuhan area. Be safe and be careful…

      1. Seven cities are now in lockdown. Outbreak is now believed to be originated from live wild animals including bats and koalas sold at a notorious open air market in Wuhan city center. Holy f*ck this could not have happened at a worse time.

        1. Over 1300 infected and 55 dead now… 1000 bed dedicated hospital being built right now in Wuhan by Army Corps of Engineers. To be ready for service in 6 days. Amazing response. Virus is showing no sign of stopping. Transmission rate is believed to be 1.4-2.0, making it as contagious as the regular flu. And still mutating as it’s pool of available genetic material expands with each transmission. Cases all over the world now. Two confirmed in India. That is potentially disastrous. Think flare gun being fired in a field of dry grass.

          Check local ordinances before going outside, those of you in Beijing and Shanghai. The wearing of a face mask is MANDATORY in many places. Especially on mass transit.

          1. Thank you for the comments, Blue Sky Country. Yes it is a developing situation around here and we all must stay informed and remain vigilant. I’m in a safe situation here in Beijing — no commute as I live right next to office — and otherwise stay at home.

  2. I love all the rhymes
    It’s very well done
    And a timely reminder
    Of what to do for my son!

    My husband–he don’t care
    Though his folks come from Hong Kong
    It’s his white wife with the lai see
    “‘Cause our last name is Wong!”

  3. Happy Lunar New Year, Jocelyn! I can ‘t wait for another year of posts from you. I’m now ready to start making some nian gao with a big glass of bubble tea 😀

  4. Tardy as usual but here’s wishing you and Jun

    Wishing Wuhan and China quickly overcome the coronavirus monster.

    I have often wondered why Sars and now the novel corornavirus afflict China and only Chinese people seem to suffer.

    Just two days ago I was still wondering.

    It may all be a conspiracy theory but no harm done wondering.

    Consider, makes for interesting reading:-

      1. Hahaha…… but the ‘conspiracy theory article’ I was referring to was not pointing the finger on China. It was referring to another country if I am not mistaken hehehe……Well, till we know for certain about the origin of the novel coronavirus, there is always going to be one hypothesis or another. But if the ones who suffer from the virus and die from it are all Chinese people it does make one wonder. So far, there are reportedly no death from the virus of non-ethnic Chinese. There was a report of a German Caucasian who was reported to have been infected with only very mild symptoms and recovered promptly. Just wishing the theories floating around of the virus being biologically engineered in a bio-war lab are just conspiracy theories, nothing else and the work of of those having nothing better to do.

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