年初二开年 CNY Day Two

Some of you expect me to blog about 大年初一 CNY Day One, but the fact is, Day One has always been rather uneventful as far as my family is concerned.

You see, for some families, 初一 first day and 十五 fifteenth day of each month are days where we should go vegetarian. The same goes for my family. Of course, I only observe this when I am at home in KL. I hardly bother when I am out of mom’s reach in Penang. And that also applies for 大年初一 First day of the year. After all those meat for the 团圆饭 reunion dinner on CNY Eve, we go vegetarian on 大年初一.

According to Chinese customs, 大年初一 is also the day where people go and 拜年, paying New Year visit to the most elderly person in the family. For years, that person is my grandma who lives with us, so it means relatives come to our house. However, after my grandma passed away, the relatives have not been visiting. And since we did not have a habit of visiting others, we kept up with that habit. We just stayed home all day.

Long story short: my 大年初一 was spent eating vegetarian food, and then stuffing my face with snacks and soft drinks while watching TV from morning to night. Hardly blog worthy stuff if you ask me.

年初二 Day Two though, is a different story. 年初二 is what we call 开年, the official Opening of the year. I don’t think everyone observes this, probably just the Cantonese families. Don’t ask me why we do it this way, I have no idea, my mom has no idea too. 年初二 is 开年, it just is. If you insist that I guess, then I’m guessing that maybe because it is more auspicious to officially start the year with a bang, with meats and seafood, but Day One is the day that we go vegetarian so we delay a day just so that we can officially start the year auspiciously.

So what do we do on 年初二? We start the year with a bang, literally. Sometimes, we would engage lion dance troupes to come to our house and perform a routine. Sometimes it would be one of the neighbors. We did the lion dance thing two years ago.

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Lion Dance

This year, we did not get any lion dance troupe in. We went with a relatively quieter route. This route.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piW4jAEIrCo]

Actually, I might get my family into trouble for posting this video online..

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The aftermath

For 开年, we would also have a lavish meal, typically for lunch. After the boring vegetarian fares on Day One, the 开年饭 Opening Meal has to be lavish, with meat and everything, just so to set an auspicious tone for the entire year.

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Lunch spread
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海参焖猪脚 Braised Sea Cucumber and Pork Trotter

So that’s how my start to the CNY is. Busy and delicious CNY Eve, boring CNY Day One, and then loud and lavish CNY Day Two..

RG’s Pronunciation Corner:

(Chinese word – Mandarin pronunciation – Cantonese pronunciation)

  1. 大年初一 – Da Nian Chu Yi – Dai Nin Chor Yat
  2. 年初二 – Nian Chu Er – Nin Chor Yi
  3. 开年 – Kai Nian – Hoi Nin
  4. 开年饭 – Kai Nian Fan – Hoi Nin Fan
  5. 团圆饭 – Tuan Yuan Fan – Tuen Yuen Fan
  6. 拜年 – Bai Nian – Bai Nin

22 Comments

  1. I scared the shit out of my cat when I clicked on your video. My cat is afraid of firecrackers! 😀 Ok, I think I’ve caught up with my comments (finally) as a result of my short break 😉

    • I don’t even know who commented on what, maybe after everyone is back, I will write a post that recap all the posts that I have written..

    • LOL! Sorry to let you down. I didn’t even think of taking photos of those vegetarian food. They’re boring stuff, fried noodles with vegetables, that kind of thing..

  2. Yes.. official opening is 2nd day.. hahaa.. I was trying to find the right words for my blogpost this afternoon.. Hoi Leen in cantonese… is much bigger than the first day.. I spent first day eating vegetarian in the morning.. it is like a tradition during the first day of every chinese new year!

    • Chor Yat and Sap Ng (15) of every month are vegetarian days if you observe it strictly, if not so strict then just observe on Nin Chor Yat 😀

  3. My late father made us all eat vegetarian meals on CNY day 1 when he was alive but now that I am married, I follow my inlaws which is to eat vegetarian meal half day only but the weird thing is they tell me that dried oyster (hou si) is accepted as vegetarian food because Guan Yin allows it.

    Your mother really cooked another grand meal for CNY Day 2. Must be really tasty! No fireworks for me now that I am a law abiding citizen. ;p

    • I’m pretty sure Guan Yin never said anything about oysters. Oyster is not part of Indian cuisine if I’m not mistaken, and Guan Yin is an ethnic Indian. But, oh well, just listen to the elderly people, as long as it makes them happy LOL! 😀

  4. My family does not observe the vegetarian bit on 1st day. When my grandpa was around, we all gathered at his place and relatives will come visiting. Once we were done with them, we go out and visit a few of them in return. But now, things are different.

    I see brown rice? That pork trotter dish is the highlight for me 😀 Looks like a pretty good lunch there – meat, 2 vegetables and soup. Same thing for dinner?

    • Usually if there is an elderly around, then people would visit his place. The younger generation is supposed to visit the elderly. When my grandma passed away, things changed too. Now I think the relatives expect us to visit, but because we never have that habit, we don’t bother too. Just wait and wait hahaha! 😀

      That’s not exactly brown rice, it is mixed grains, next level healthy eating hahaha! Dinner more or less the same, add 1 fish to top up the meat only 🙂

  5. Same here, chor1, it’s all vegetarian.. From morning til dinner, eat same food, mil would refill the dishes.. Stayed at mil’s whole day too, can drink soft drinks but not shandy, can eat snacks but not bak kua those stuffs, hehe *ai kong*..
    Chor2, hoi zhai liao, got white cut chicken and soup and braised meat like yours.. Chor3, the in laws all came to my matchbox condo, 13-15 of them.. Since I was the host, I cooked too – Roast wings, spaghetti cream sauce, potato egg bacon salad and simple fried sausages, for the kids.. Then they gambled whole day.. After they left, I vacuumed and mopped and washed toilets..
    Today? Chor4 loooo.. Still at home now, munching ngaku and drinking soya box drink, hehe..

    • Haha, what matchbox condo? Sounds so sad leh, condo is condo lah XD

      I never gamble this year.. I mean, not yet 😛

    • We don’t eat those with any condiments here. They are cooked for a day, the thing is full of flavors by itself. 😉

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