Monday, February 09, 2009

Chinese New Year, I know, but...Scottish New Year?

My Singaporean friend is married to a Scottish man. During recent Chinese New Year celebrations, she told me that he brought some of his own Scottish New Year traditions over, wanting to apply them to his visitation during Chinese New Year.

There's one custom that, while it is very nice, just won't do during Chinese New Year. In Scotland, on Jan 1, you can visit any party you come across. There will be drinks and snacks, and you are welcome to stop in at any gathering to wish the hosts and other guests a happy new year — even if you don't know anyone present! For Chinese New Year, visitation is very much a time for family and friends, and not so much for outsiders, so you can imagine how this Scottish tradition might go over at such a time.

Still, when my friend told me about the customs of Scotland, I found it kind of nice. That open hospitality has a certain charm, even if it doesn't quite fit the Chinese way of celebrating. You can certainly see how nice it would be to feel welcome anywhere you wanted to go during the holidays.
What a warm, hospitable custom!

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