Posted: 10 Feb 2013 02:31 AM PST
At the heart of the Chinese New Year celebrations lies the importance of family, say a host of local celebrities.
Chinese New Year is a time for happy family reunions and massive get-togethers, abundance of food and entertainment, bright and beautiful new clothes and decorations, and for some, fascinating family traditions. Would you like to know how your favourite local personalities celebrate the lunar new year?
Owen Yap Khiam Hong
Best childhood memory of CNY: I've always had good memories of CNY, because I was born on CNY eve, after the family reunion dinner. As a kid, nothing seemed to bring more happiness than seeing and enjoying a year-end Feast of Food.
Favourite CNY snack: Mandarin orange, essential snack and my favourite. My late grandma would make slices for us on the first day of CNY, before breakfast. We still keep this tradition.
Favourite CNY song: Gong Xi Gong Xi. Thanks to my parents … I have been listening to it since I was a baby, I bet.
What is special for CNY this year?: I would be celebrating the first day of CNY with all 8tv Mandarin News viewers nationwide.
Best childhood memory of CNY: Wearing a brand new set of LadyBirds (kid's fashion brand) on the first day.
Favourite CNY dish/snack: Granny's chicken curry, chicken 'loh bak', peanut cookies.
What is special for CNY this year?: Going to a BFF's house for reunion dinner with her parents. They are Taiwanese and came here from Hong Kong. Cool parents, I can't wait to meet them.
Beauty/fashion trends for the year of the snake: For Spring/Summer, red lips. For Autumn/Winter, colourful eyes with dark lip colour. Rock hairstyles with white hair colour.
Jane Ng Meng Hui,
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur.
Favourite CNY dish/snack: Pineapple tarts, dried meat jerky, fried sticky cakes, peanut cookies.
What is special for CNY this year?: First CNY after I quit deejaying at a local Chinese radio station. Because I've spent quite some years without any CNY leave during my stint at the radio station, this year should be more relaxed, so I can have more free time with my loved ones.
How do you plan to spend the coming CNY?: Going back to Ipoh with my family for few days.
Karen Kong, 28, singer/actress
Best childhood memory of CNY: Chasing after the lion dancers. I'd wake up immediately once I hear "Dong Qiang Dak Dong Qiang" from afar. My brother and I would join other kids and rush to see them.
Favourite CNY dish/snack: Kuih mul and Salmon Lou Sang. Every year, my mum would make kuih mul in Labuan and bring it to KL where my siblings and I are now based.
Favourite CNY movie: Steven Chow's movies. They make everyone laugh, that's the whole point of new year ... laughing together.
Hometown: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Best childhood memory of CNY: Receiving angpows from my grandmother. Among all her grandchildren, she loved me the most, because she'd give me two. One for my parents and the other for myself. My grandma passed away 10 years ago, yet receiving angpow every CNY always reminds me of that.
Favourite CNY movie: The 72 Tenants Of Prosperity directed by Eric Tsang. The movie includes lots of big names like Jacky Cheung and Eric Tsang himself. Besides being super funny, it also conveys a message to love our friends and family.
What is special for CNY this year? I get to meet my sister's newborn baby girl. Plus, my sister already has four sons, so my CNY is gonna be very lively.
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur.
Best childhood memory of CNY: Having my family together 15 years ago and making road trips to visit relatives, before my parents split up. Road trips were fun because we'd play games in the car and snack on traditional CNY cookies that my mum baked.
Favourite CNY movie: Any movie with Louis Koo, the HK actor, in it!
Most memorable CNY moment: Back in 2005 when I first returned from the US and was celebrating my first CNY as an adult. I saw things in a different light, and realised just how important family gatherings were when everybody had been working hard providing for their families. Some don't even take holidays throughout the year until CNY!
Best CNY ever: Having my mum come back from US to celebrate CNY with me and my brothers again in 2011 after six years of separation. CNY just isn't the same without your mum stocking up on CNY cookies, getting decorations and trinkets that are meant to bring you luck and going shopping for new clothes to embrace the new year while she shares stories about what CNY used to be like.
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur.
Best childhood memory of CNY: Running around the field with my cousins playing with firecrackers and watching colourful fireworks. Making CNY albums was also very meaningful to me. It was fun to record songs in the studio and shoot music videos with a big group of friends!
Preparations for CNY: Shopping for new dresses, bags and shoes to wear on the first day until the last day of CNY! This would make me feel like a new me during the new year!
We also organised a team to visit various orphanages, senior homes and community centres for charity work. My happiness is seeing the people around me happy!
What is different for CNY this year?: It's my very last year as a teenager as I'm 19. How I wish to have fun and play like a happy child. Unfortunately, I'll have to sit for my mid-term exams from Feb 16 to Feb 26. So, I'll probably be studying while visiting my relatives or friends.
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