Chinese New Year

Most of my local friends just roll their eyes at the mention of CNY, ‘oh the horror’ kind of look. Thinking about, I have never heard one person say anything positive about it, all I hear is complaining (from locals) along the lines of:

Traffic is a nightmare
I hate being stuck at home with my family for days
TV sucks
Snack food sucks
Mahjong sucks
The red envelopes will bankrupt me

Already I hear crying about excessive police ‘enforcement’ of things that go uncommented all year (fishing for red envelopes already?), and it’s not even xmas yet!

What’s your experience on this topic? If they hate it so much, why do they bother? Does anyone have anything positive to say about CNY?


I used to dread the Chinese New Year. It meant enduring an awful week when my local friends were mostly out of town, the weather was cold and wet (as it invariably used to be at that time of year), everywhere was closed, and I’d have to survive on stale bread for the last few days before the bakeries reopened. But now I find myself eagerly looking forward to it as a much-needed break from work. And possibly due to global warming, the weather has tended to be pleasant and sunny for the CNY these last few years, making it perfect for outdoor excursions. And more and more places are staying open through the holidays. And now I have a gf who comes from Taipei and doesn’t go away. And much much more on the positive side. So I love the Chinese New Year, and am looking forward to the next one with all my heart.

You can always go away. That helps too.

CNY is definitely the worst time of the year for me. if you don’t have a kitchen, you can’t find any place to eat. Getting time off from work is cool but you can’t go anywhere here because of the traffic. The only way to enjoy it is to leave.
As the most important holiday of the year, it seems pretty terrible. But then I’m just an outsider, with a family it might be different.

I love those catchy Chinese new year songs! :wink:

I swear I heard one that went like this:

Gongxi Gongxi, gei wo hong bao.

Excuse the romanisation, but isn’t it something like

Gonxi gonxi fa tsai, hung bao na/guo lai!

or something to that effect…

[quote=“SuperS54”]Excuse the romanisation, but isn’t it something like

Gonxi gonxi fa tsai, hung bao na/guo lai!

or something to that effect…[/quote]

[quote=“Sharky”]I swear I heard one that went like this:

Gongxi Gongxi, gei wo hong bao.[/quote]

Yeah, those are great… but even more sureal are the ones in English!


CNY is a time of traveling around Taiwan, especially during Chinese New Year Day! There is NOT ONE around! It’s so wonderful!

Are there ANY cultural festivities for Chinese New Year, like parades, dance shows, etc.??? A fellow expat swears there’s a dragon dance at CKS Memorial Hall but neither of us can find any info in the papers or on the Internet. If you know, please point me in the right direction.

I don’t like CNY either. Last year I went home with my ex-boyfriend to visit his grandparents, which was interesting, but this year I’m all by myself, although I have tons of stuff to keep me busy preparing for grad school applications and the like … in a way it reminds me of X-mas back home because for a few days you can’t really call or hang out with your friends because they all have to do the “family thing” … and being the fiercely independent person that I am, I’ve never been one for “family activities,” especially ones that are forced upon you just to delude yourself and your relatives that your family is “happy” and “normal”. Anyway, I’m just rambling …

I love it. A week off from work. Time to catch up on my reading, hiking, and exploring. Plenty of offers to head south if I feel like it, but no pressure to do so. I wish it were two weeks long.

I’d love to be able to relax and enjoy it, and would easily find countless ways to make the most of every precious minute … if only I didn’t have these two lengthy, difficult and urgent translations to get done for next week. Sigh! The sunshine beckons, but I’m chained to the computer … where I must try to keep my attention focused on this damned work and restrain myself from checking things out on these boards too often.

I really like Chinese New Year. Sure, going to the inlaws is a bit of a drag, but it’s OK as long as I don’t have to do it too often. This year I don’t have to go down to visit my mother in law’s family, so no travel and traffic jams. I find that in my area (Kuting/Shida) about half the places to eat are still open, so no worries there. I really like on about the third day, after everyone’s done the family stuff, everybody goes out and meets their friends and everyon’e wearing some new clothes, lots of red, some of the women wearing traditional stuff. It’s cool.

But I just remembered the one thing I hate. The endless noise of firecrackers for weeks to come.


I was going to have dinner with my local “Taiwan brother,” but apparently, one of his older siblings has a real problem with waiguoren. The reason I am not with my girlfriend’s family is that they also have a lovely racist in the fold who told her that if I was there, he wasn’t going to be. I haven’t met either of these charming individuals yet.

Got to love that munificent holiday spirit, eh? What exactly are the cultural and legal ramifications of administering an atomic wedgie to a child in a man’s body?

Sorry to hear that Tomas, that sucks.

Personally, I love CNY. There’s one brother in law that’ll drink some piss with me, the other 3 are pretty soft though. I don’t mind doing the family thing at all, their pretty cool, and very happy to have amos around. Drink beer, bit of gambling, telling porky pies, hey just like chrissy back home, well sort of …

I hate the loud English songs that restaurants and shopping centers play every Chinese New Year. I don’t know anything about the songs and I try not to listen but they seem to be sung by an American female/male duet for the Chinese holidays.

Oh,I hate that song really…a real insult to chinese subtlety…something like new year and a lot of activities in the lyrics… I’m ready to leave the place…I told my gf…let’s get out of here…the music sucks…


This was my very 1st experience of Chinese New Year in Taiwan (or indeed anywhere).

I think my expectations were too high. I was expecting a wave of red outfits on the streets, with firework displays galore, with people celebrating like there is no tomorrow.


…all that I experienced was a few big meals, a little drinking, and a little gambling…some hong bao giving and receiving, and thats it…

…in fact, I was the only one who even bothered to wear red!

Has CNY gone down in Taiwanese peoples importance, or have I just got very boring Taiwanese in-laws?

Was my experience of CNY the same as everybody elses?

Were my expectations way too high?


PS - I thought I was fortunate enough to be married to a Taiwanese lady, and therefore experience CNY from ‘inside’ - maybe I did…

PPS - even my ‘wei yah’ (work party) was nothing special…a meal, and a raffle.