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This day stirs up family reunions | Chitchat

2017-01-27  wzawxt

Today is Spring Festival Eve. Have you already pasted spring couplets and prepared a reunion dinner?


Last week we invited our readers to share their most special Spring Festival Eve stories with us. These stories, from amusing to heartbreaking, tell the common wish for reunion and cheer.


After days flash by, childhood memories stay eternal.

Every year on the eve of Spring Festival, after adults set fire to those long strings of firecrackers (usually consisting of 10,000 small single bangers), my little brother and I always picked up some unburned ones and stripped off the heavy paper casings to reveal their powder. Then we piled them up layer after layer to form a ring shape and lit the fuse of a banger of the first layer. It's amazing to see the whole stack blazing, emanating a flamboyant flame and a cloud of indigo smog. For me, the odor of these strong and irritant puffs of sulfide is the flavor of Spring Festival.

-- W

Reading this article, all those happy memories about the Spring Festival Eve came up. Oh, I missed my grandpa a lot. As all of us work in another city, the reunion is very important for him. He always says frankly that he appreciates the reunion a lot and he really hopes we get back home as often as possible. He missed us a lot. He will blame who always forgets to call him to talk about updates. He has done a lot for the whole family. Hope he is safe and sound in the far away heaven.

-- Emily Su

My hometown is Yancheng city of Jiangsu province. In childhood times on Spring Festival Eve, we enjoyed delicious food prepared by my mother with all the family members. After the reunion dinner, we pasted Spring Couples and set fireworks to respect ancestors. Then my parents prepared another special case: setting a fire with dry grass and letting us to jump over it, which means to wish for better and more achievements in the new year. Finally my father boiled some 'yuanbao' (glutinous rice powder mixed food) and shared with us, which means hope to get richer.

-- 萌爸爸

When I was a little girl, I liked the Spring Festival so much even though my family was so poor that time. The part I liked most is that all neighboring kids gathered together to hold a gala made by ourselves, while the adults play mahjong. We prepared several programs, such as singing, dancing or just moving our bodies with the music. Not many candies, snacks or beautiful clothes, but we're so happy!!!

-- daisy


We traveled half of China, taking the hell-like journey just to reunite with our family.

The 1987 Spring Festival Eve has been engraved on my soul forever and ever. After seven hell-like days' journey from Korla to my one-horse village in Ji'an County which saw me eat and drink as little as possible as well as enjoy no sound sleep. Exhausted and hungry, I reached home at five in the afternoon, just in time for the reunion dinner. When I stepped into the house, the tears of mine and my parents' were flying. At the table my mom kept on filling my bowl with my favorite dishes -- pine mushroom, sliced pork with ground glutinous rice and spicy grass carp. After the once-in-a-year rich feast, around the warm charcoal fire, the entire family chitchatted on end. While my eldest stayed up with my father to see the old year out and the New Year in by playing Chinese chess, I slept soundly on my daddy's lap in spite of myself until the day broke. Such is my special Spring Festival Eve.

-- 西域舌耕

The last eve of 2010 remains fresh in my memory. We traveled half ofChinato a remote village for family reunion. Twenty-six relatives in total gathered in the small house with only two beds for four people available. We stayed up late playing mahjong, but in the end felt tired and wanted to sleep. So the solution was that we took turns to sleep on the bed... Everyone got two hours' sleeping time while others should be waiting for their own turn around the mahjong table. Although my sleeping turn never came that night, I was lucky enough to double my pocket money by playing mahjong.

-- Jenny


That year's festival was a little bit different, but so meaningful.

February 2013 saw one of my most special Spring Festival Eves. It was also the first time I went toTibet. As a journalist for a Tibetan specialized medium, I went to the Jokhang  Temple at three o'clock in the morning with another reporter with CCTV, who also was going to the Tibetan plateau for the first time. We followed the local Tibetans all the way from Potala to Jokhang Temple   Square and managed to get to the right end of the long queue after a narrow escape from getting lost amid the crowd. While standing in line, we saw many Tibetan pilgrims doing prostration on the ground. Their clothes were ragged, hair muddy and face dirty, yet wore bright smiles on their face all the time looking at us and other people. People in the queue were quiet or murmuring prayers... the vision was so impressive that I somehow realized -- inner peace is not that difficult to have as long as we lower our expectations for so-called success and focus simply on one thing we are doing and looking at, is it? And later on when we got to the temple I prayed for peace and blessing to all living beings, as many of the Tibetan pilgrims did.

-- 姳卉

This was the most special Spring Festival I remembered. My grandma was seriously ill. I made the dumplings all by myself. From that day on, I knew that it was time to grow up. Although it was really tiring for a little girl, I also felt the happiness of responsibility.

-- 若水

The most exquisite gift on Spring Festival eve is clustering around with family in a grand feast. My impressive memory is about my significance during the eve as my lunar birthday was at the same time. Hence it's a huge glory to have the whole nation celebrate with me as a gorgeous birthday present. But a pity was the prohibition of dumplings at birthday according to superstition because it's assumed to have me mute afterwards if I insist. So I have to put off delicious dumplings until after. Anyway, this particular day means a lot to everyone as it empowers us to run for the same shelter called 'family'!

-- A durable thread


For everyone, red envelopes are indispensable in the festival.

In Spring Festival, we always kowtow for our grandma and grandpa. And then we could get red packet from them.

-- 你雖然長的醜,但是想的美

When it comes to Spring Festival Eve, I would like to use two words to describe -- Red Paper. I think many people participated in the Red Paper Activity ran by Alibaba during the Spring Festival Eve last year. Chinese people used mobile phones to grab the red paper. My parents also took part in this game with me. Although they got only ten yuan, they still told me they had a lot of fun from this activity.

-- 阿依阔勒


This year we can't return home, but we are still expecting a happy new year.

This year will be the first time that I can't go home to spend New Year with my family, but that's okay, because I will spend this special moment with my husband. We got married in October 2016. Normally we should go home as we are new couple, but it's his turn to be on duty in his company this year. Never mind, we will still enjoy our first New Year away from home. We have already bought many things for the new year. Just enjoy it a different way.

-- 小虾

Last September I was appointed to one of the top 10 universities in theUS as a VS and began my first learning experience abroad. That was an amazing journey in my life, which helped me reach the cutting-edge methods of my field and built good friendships with specialists from other areas. However, the busy work didn't wipe out my strong feeling of missing my family, especially when the Spring Festival was drawing near. Only under such circumstances can you eagerly realize that a lonely stranger in a strange land I am cast, I miss my family all the more on every festive day.

-- FFC


Those embarrassing things that happened during the festival.

I'm an English major, I had no idea how and in which degree English would change my life since I decided to bring my Irish boyfriend back home to meet my parents on this Spring Festival Eve. It will be the most unbelievable one I spend.

-- Mindfreak

Well... When I was 14, I looked very mature, even more mature than my older cousin. Hence my relatives regarded me as the oldest one of my big family. Since I cannot bear it any more, I announced to everyone that I was just 14 years old... However, one of my grandfather's friends did not believe me and asked me if I had a boyfriend and planned to get married. He even said that if I were single, he could let me make friends with his son and...(just guess what happened afterwards) How sad I was! Could a 14-year-old maid marry a 24-year-old man? Are you kidding me?

-- 素岄

I think matchmaking is an inevitable thing during the festival. One time, I accompanied my elder cousin to take part in a blind date. She was so shy that I talked with the man instead of her. The man had known the girl was my cousin, but he still talked with me for a long time. During the talk, I several times said to him, my sister is your arranged girl. But finally, the matchmaker told my mother, the man liked me rather than my cousin. What an embarrassing thing. I was just a high school student. From then on, I am not willing to accompany others to blind dates.

-- 眉间莞尔


No life is completely immune to those hard times. May the light of the New Year brighten you.

Family always gave gifts and preferential treatment to my sister, but not to me. Despite my parents’ half-hearted comfort, I just could not enjoy the jubilation of the New Year. I ran away from home in a fit of indignation wearing only a pair of slippers and the clothes on my back. When I got out of the house, there was already a heavy snowfall. But my pride wouldn't allow me to go back inside. I ran angrily because I had endured such a dog's life for a long time. The dark and cold night kept me from venturing too far from home.

-- 董双

I don't know how to spend this Spring Festival with my father gone for the first time... Everything is different.

-- Alice Hou

I remembered I stayed in my rented room alone in Beijing instead of going back to my hometown during the 2014 New Year Eve due to my 'kind relatives'. Yes I am similar to Xiaoming, I was a single old girl at that time! Ah I am filled up by tears when I think of that condition.

-- yumin

It has been five years since I had a happy Spring Festival Eve, because of my family quarrel. I miss the Spring Festival Eve very much when all my family members ate a reunion dinner together. Happiness is simple, just like eating a reunion dinner together on Spring Festival Eve.

-- Joyce


And this one:

Oh, I forgot to add another special thing about my SFE -- this is my first time to leave messages for CHINADALY, haha~ Wish everyone a happy new year in advance.

-- Shawty*-


CHINADAILY is determined to continue accompanying you throughout your English reading life.


Wish you all a propitious and fruitful Year of the Rooster!


新年快乐HAPPY NEW YEAR



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