In between the morning's CrossFit session down at the waterfront in the capital, and the afternoon's Family Hash (for the 50 years) through the jungle; the kids and I managed to squeeze in a visit to an Open House for Chinese New Year.
It was really nice to be able to take part, as we have missed all the other Open Houses we've been invited to this year unfortunately, for different reasons.
This invite came from one of Lucas' class mates and her family. Here are the kids outside their house, at their 'shrine':
A Chinese New Year Open House works a bit like a Hari Raya gathering - you come, you eat, you go! Usually there are so many guests not all can be accommodated at the same time, so you have to vacate your seat when you are done.
We were amongst the earliest visitors yesterday though, since we had a busy afternoon ahead, so there was no rush for us really to get out of the way. We had plenty of time for a chat, for the kids to play, and to enjoy the huge diversity of food that they served:
They live in a beautifully decorated house. I guess some of the decorations are typical for the Chinese New Year celebrations, but still, it's gorgeous.
Chinese New Year is usually a very red affair, red symbolizes luck, life and happiness. Gold is also often used, for wealth and prosperity. Many people decorate their houses with pineapples and oranges, real and fake. Fresh flowers are also important, they symbolize life.
The kids even had time to sit down and enjoy some shawarma, and some noodles with their friends:
Lucas and Tom:
When we left, the children got gifts - ang paos (the red envelopes with money) and oranges. Such a lovely gesture!