Gender & Identity, Life

11 signs you celebrate Chinese New Year

Or: 11 things you waited through to get red envelopes.

What? Lunar New Year? Oh that’s right, it’s not just your Chinese family that celebrates it. It’s easy to forget that the holiday isn’t specific to Chinese culture when…

1. The relatives from another country came to the family gathering, and nobody except that one aiyi knows who they are.

Are they even having a good time? You feel kind of bad for them.

2. You played this game. And you lost. Again…and again.

The one year you decide not to play, you predict the dice rolls down to a tee. (While your cousin gambles away the borrowed new years money you lent them.)

3. Nobody but the aiyi who made the nian gao can figure out how to cut it.

Okay, seriously. Can we talk about how hard it is to unstick this from itself? I can’t believe people spend three days making this because it will literally take me three days to pull this piece off from the whole.

4. At least one of your cousins brought their non-Asian significant other, and all of your aunts are gossiping about them at the “adult table.”

The mother of that cousin probably tries to speak to them in broken English, then calls them stupid to the person sitting next to her.

5. On the other hand, every mom in the room gets pumped enough to start asking for grandchildren.

One year, my mom offered cold hard cash to the person who birthed the first grandchildren — with or without a spouse. Lineage gets pretty serious during New Years.

6. You wanted to see the lion dance earlier, but nobody else would go with you.

Do they still put money in the cabbages they eat? Is that a thing? You hope that’s still a thing.

7. Everyone is looking around like, “Is anyone year of the monkey?”

Nobody is actually sure why it matters besides “for luck.”

8. You went to your family’s graves a couple of days before New Years Eve to burn money, clothes, and burn incense.

Your Buddhist aunt, the one that brings all the equipment, brought a full, roasted pig and forgot the knife.

9. If you’re married, all of you are half-hardheartedly dreaming of not passing out hong bao/lai see.

If only that word was an option.

10. …And if you’re not, you’re ready to make it rain!

…After all the awkward, repetitive exchanges with the elders.

11. At the end of the day, the food, the family, and the tradition makes Lunar New Year feel like your culture’s secret little celebration.

And you couldn’t be more proud of where you come from. Pass the fish head, anyone?