PETALING JAYA: Chinese New Year celebrations kicked off in earnest last night and the next few days will see Malaysians from all races and walks of life celebrating the occasion.
Even street people had a taste of the festive season, thanks to Pertiwi Soup Kitchen.
Its founder Munirah Hamid spent Chinese New Year eve with volunteers, handing out 700 packets of food to the homeless in Kuala Lumpur.
“We gave out packets of fish and chicken with rice and vegetables as well as kaya buns, wafers and packet drinks for dessert,” she said.
The volunteers also tossed yee sang to mark the new year.
“We will be going out this week as usual, as we want to make sure the homeless are properly fed,” said Munirah.
She said her volunteers had agreed to ensure there would be no shortfall in hands, even with people going off for the holidays.
The soup kitchen, which distributes food every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, also provides free medical check-ups by doctors who volunteer their expertise.
The Year of the Wood Goat kicked off with marital bliss for accounts executive Joel Dass, who is looking forward to celebrating the lunar new year with his wife Celeste Tan.
“We’re going to be doing something different this year, because our marriage is cross-cultural.
“We will spend a few days with my parents and then head over to my in-laws’ place,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to catching up with friends at a small-scale open house the couple are hosting.
“Something I really have to get used to is giving ang pow.
“Apparently, we have to give double ang pow because we are newly-married!”
According to feng shui expert Kenny Hoo, the Year of the Wood Goat is set to be more auspicious.
He said orange would be the year’s lucky colour, as it represented the start of a brighter future.
“Orange brings hope and is especially important after the ups and downs as well as the numerous challenging incidents last year,” said Hoo, the founder of Good Feng Shui Geomantic Research.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed is expecting the third day of Chinese New Year to be very busy.
“As Chinese restaurants would still be closed, many Chinese families would come out to eat instead of cooking at home.
“There is always a crowd on the third day,” he said.
“We are prepared for the large volume and thank our customers for their support and we wish all who celebrate a happy and prosperous new year.”