Tuesday, February 9, 2010

United Colours of Pink, Blue & Purple


The lunar new year is approaching and Chinese all over the globe are preparing big time to usher in the new year. These cupcakes are for a clothing boutique for their pre-Chinese New Year get-together. Buttered vanilla cupcakes with heaps of frosting in subtle shades of pink, purple and blue, and some fun sprinkles. I kinda lean more to keeping my piped frosting simple and clean... (well, I do try).

I had thought that tomorrow is Friday. I'm two full days ahead... could be the mad scramble preceding CNY that got my brain playing tricks on me. I'm not rushing, it's the sight of the maddening traffic and the accelerated supermarket-sweep-scene at the stores that get me all frantic. So flustered that my body clock propelled to Friday... Huge sigh of relief, it's only Wednesday and I've actually got two more days to prep *phew*

It's the same scene every year for CNY - the big rush to buy new year clothes (red), planning out the menu for the reunion dinner (customary family fare), placing orders for cookies (pineapple tarts), getting a new hairdo to wow the masses when they visit (there's a surcharge for salon washed services a week leading to CNY), going to the bank to exchange dough to smaller denominations for red packets (and for gambling), buying truckloads of carbonated canned drinks (to feed those masses that are in awe of your new do), decking the entire house with mandarin oranges and red packets (I think it means luck or prosperity or something along those lines), and cleaning house at the very last minute.

For those of you who don't quite get it, let me explain. You see, the lunar new year represents the first day of the year in the Chinese calendar. We Chinese greet the new year with new clothes and we extend our hospitality by welcoming friends over to the house to munch on pineapple tarts and maybe a meal. On the eve, the family comes together for a reunion dinner and it is usually rather lavish with really really GORGEOUS food. To rid the preceding year's bad luck, we give our house a good cleaning. As a child, the most important "rule" I kept in mind was not to sweep the house on the first day of CNY - you might be sweeping away some good luck that's coming your way in the new year.

I remember looking forward to CNY in my younger years. I can't recall why though. Maybe it was the angpow (red packets of $$$). Maybe it was the fun in wearing pretty new frocks. It could be due to the feeling of bending my nape upwards to take in the fireworks lighting up the midnight sky, or the noisy 6-foot long string of firecrackers lit from tall bamboo poles (it's believed the noise scares the evil spirits away). Or perhaps it's because I never get a scolding from anyone as it's believed to be bad luck. Then again, I won't be surprised if it was the pineapple tarts.

Happy Chinese New Year.


Steph said...

Those are just too cute!

Constant Craving said...

Thanks Steph, and thanks for visiting!


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