How someone celebrates the New Year, a tradition, I suppose…translated…
Every time around New Years, the “Floaters” in the north all returned back south, the city of Taipei became, unpopulated all of a sudden, without the raucous of the day to day, and, lacking that scent of celebration of the brand new year. At first, it was, not easy, adapting, to passing the New Year in Taipei, and, there were, less and less families, who’d, posted those red strips on their doors now too, and, wearing brand new clothes is, no longer a must, and, people rarely greeted anybody else as they passed each other by.
As for what’s for breakfast on New Year’s Day? I’d asked a lot of friends and coworkers, some had vegetarian foods, some sleep in until noon, and have a brunch, some went to the temples, to have some longan porridge, some would order up their breakfasts, at the breakfast shops like they normally would………how is this, a New Year? I’d, doubted. The very FIRST meal of the New Year should be filled with joy, warmth, hope, and best wishes, and so, this, made me, missed how we used to have our New Year’s back home.
what the egg noodle looks like, prepared with sesame oil…photo from online…
The New Year in the countryside are full of celebration and love, the breakfast for New Year’s Day, we’d all had egg noodles, this, was a tradition, that all of us, Mingnanese carried from generations before. I’d remembered the New Years before, my mother would remind us, not to wake up too late on New Year’s Day, because the villagers would walk around, and wish one another a happy new year. Early in the morn, we got dressed in our new clothes, my mother would take us to the temple to offer, and ask for a smooth year. As we’d come home, my mother would make a pot of egg noodles, the eggs were hard-broiled from the night before, everybody has a bowl of noddle in front of her/him, with two hard-broiled egg inside, the noodles represented longevity, the hard-broiled eggs without the shells symbolized saying goodbye to all the misfortunes of the past year, looking forward to the new year with hope; my mother always told us, to NOT eat just one egg, that we’d needed to, finish both eggs, that way, the coming year, we’d all be, fulfilled.
For the very first meals of the brand new year, every family does this. The families all gathered around the supper tables to eat, or they’d sat together outside, and ate under that warming winter sun, very heartwarming, a great way, to start off a brand new year.
After breakfast, my mother would put on a kettle of sweet tea, put out the candies, and waited for the guests to come wish the family a happy new year, and, we the children would go out, and wish the elders a happy new year. But, this was, from my childhood years, and now, there are, various developments from back home, some of the rituals, may have been, altered. But, no matter what, the egg with noodles had always, been served as breakfast on New Year’s Day, and, all the villagers would all head out, and greet each other, wishing everyone they met a happy new year.
Recently, I’d started, working by the traditions back home, started cooking the noodles with the eggs on New Year’s Day, told my children, “This, is a tradition from mom’s hometown, after you’d eaten the egg noodles, you will have a ton of blessings for the brand new year.” Taking home, back in, to our new year’s celebrations again.
So, this, is how traditions get passed down, you start with at an early age, and, you practiced these rituals every year until you’d, internalized the rituals, and they’d become, second nature to you, and, as you have your own young, you’d, instilled the same values that were, instilled in you, by your elders from before. A great way, to carry on a legacy of sorts here!!!