A Special Holiday

Anna LinApril 4, 2022Time and Space

Chinese New Year has always been a special holiday filled with extravagant feasts, bright red decorations, and family banter. Not only does it celebrate the passing of time and welcoming of the new year, it also provides an opportunity for reunion. Once a year, almost all of one’s relatives hurry back to their hometown before Lunar New Year’s Eve, because on that date, an important meal called Tuan Yuan Fan (團圓飯) is held. Everyone eats at a round table as a complete family, with everyone back in the picture.

Besides the gathering of family members, there is another thing that we routinely do. After dinner, my grandma calls on everyone to gather around the shrine of our ancestors, and with her leading the prayer, pray to our ancestors and communicate with them. This is a way of telling our ancestors that we are back at the place where we began, and communicating with the past. We often pray for our ancestors to bless us with health and happiness, and, in the case of students such as me, good luck in studying, and for others, success in their respective futures. Each person is handed a stick of incense, and with smoke softly flowing from the tips of our incense, a moment of comfortable silence and the warmth from the small flames fill the room, as if our ancestors are welcoming us back and listening to our prayers.

Anna Lin is a girl from Taiwan who can’t live without boba. She wants to travel around the globe with a book in her hands. She enjoys reading fantasies and fantasizes about the world.