Happy Chinese New Year, everybody! Today is the first day of the year of the Ox according to the farmers’ calendar.
The Rundkvist family is heavily secularised, to the extent that I have let slip almost all Western observances and have very vague ideas about the Chinese ones. So, to learn what this day is traditionally about, I turn as always to Wikipedia, and learn that I should:
- Welcome the deities of the heavens and earth.
- Not eat meat.
- Not cook.
- Visit the most senior members of my extended family.
- Hire a lion dance troupe.
- Give money to my kids.
- Set off fire crackers.
Of these activities and abstentions, I find only the visit to family, the lion dance troupe and the fire crackers attractive. Sadly, I have no crackers and I can’t afford hiring dancers. But it so happens that I am spending the day at the house of the most senior member of my patrilineage, viz. my dad. So apparently I’m celebrating!