Thursday, January 26, 2012

Old Traditions with New Things

This week, I brought my granddaughter to a Chinese Shopping Mall to give her a first taste of Chinese New Year celebrations.
When we got to the turn-off for the car park, there was a long line-up of cars and I would have gone to another place except I was stuck in the center of it all. After what seemed like an eternity, we managed to get in and find a perfect lot.

The place was packed and buzzing with families dressed in their Sunday best. I later found out that most of the schools in the area had a “Pro-D” Day. It seemed like every Chinese person in my city was packed into that Mall to usher in the New Year. The sights, sounds and smell of the entire place evoked memories of times gone by. There were red lanterns, red packets, red outfits, and red Lion dancers in their customary costumes. The incessant loud drumming of the Lion dance troupes made it almost impossible for us to talk or even think. Everything about the celebration revolved around prosperity and health but much of it involved age-old superstition and some aspects clearly had pagan roots. For many traditional Chinese, there is the belief that each New Year presents a fresh new opportunity to prosper and wipe away the misfortunes and bad luck of the past seasons. That is probably the rationale behind the new clothes and new things in the home.
Chinese New Year, in one sense, is an oxymoron - old traditions that involve new things! As Christians, it’s a reminder that one day these old things will all pass away and God will make everything new. When that day comes, it will be a day of celebration without tears, without pain, and everything will be perfectly and perpetually new!

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5

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