SIBU: Hanging up lanterns to decorate the home or business premises for the Lunar New Year celebration is a must for most Chinese families here.


Lee May Li

A celebrant, Lee May Li, 32, said she would decorate her house each year for the Chinese New year and for that it is a must for her to buy lanterns.

“Without them I really don’t feel like celebrating,” she said when interviewed on Sunday.

She would also buy “Nian Gao” (Chinese New Year’s cake made from glutinous rice) and Mandarin oranges.

This year she wants to celebrate at her hometown in Serian.

She explained that she loves to celebrate at her hometown in order to maintain the ties with her family members.

Kong Yii Ling

For Kong Yii Ling, 32, he likes to buy “kuih bakul”.

“Every year, it is a must-have item for us during the celebration. Besides that, we must have Mandarin oranges,” he said.

On the prices of the goods, Kong noticed that some of the goods have become more expensive than last year while others still cost the same,” he said.

Justin Hii Yung Siang

As for Justin Hii Yung Siang, 33, he and his family would gather together on the eve of Chinese New Year.

“My family and I always get together the night before Chinese New Year and have dinner together.

“So it is important for us to buy dinner items as it is very special time for us,” he said.

Traditionally, preparations for the Lunar New Year should have started 10 days ago with house cleaning from top to bottom to get rid of bad luck from the past year and make room for good tidings.

Once that has been done people then can begin to decorate their homes as best they can.

Most decorations come in pairs. Two big red lanterns are hung on each side of the front door and will normally remain lit for 15 days after the festival.

Lanterns represent brightness that lights up hopes for the New Year. They also send out blessings to everyone for the rest of the year.

Business people normally decorate their premises with gold or silver ingot fish, wishing for a prosperous year ahead.

This year the Chinese New Year falls on February 5.