Margherita's Lunar New Year in Penang

Hello all! Lunar New Years is coming up so for my first LNY with a blog, I thought it would be nice to share other's stories of their LNY experience around the world. Have a story to share? Click on the jumpy monkey >

I would like everyone to meet Margherita! Although her zodiac animal is a pig, she relates much more to a cat. Maybe because of her cat, Tappo. She was born in 1983 and says that she has many characteristics of those born in the year of the pig - friendly, generous and loves to eat. 

Margherita and her husband, Nick, live in Milan but had the chance to celebrate Lunar New Year in three different places all on their first trip to Asia. Read on to find out what her favorite part of the celebration is.

In 2010 we spent a few months in Malaysia and was also there for Lunar New Year (in mid-February that year). I was unaware that LNY happened over 2 weeks, so we were in fact in three different places during the celebrations. On the first day we were in Kota Kinabalu and everything was closed! We couldn’t even get dinner, and we had to eat at a Pizza Hut. Then we moved onto Kuala Lumpur, where you couldn’t really notice any difference because it’s such a busy city – I only remember the red decorations around the malls. Afterwards, we moved to Penang, where we had a traditional New Year dinner with a friend and we joined the street parade on the seventh day of LNY.

Of course I remember all the great Chinese opera, street food, Lion and Dragon dances, and even a traditional Malay performance called ‘Chingay’, but my favourite part was a tea ceremony that I joined with my parents, where I paid homage to them.

It was a beautiful, touching moment, and a very special way to thank my parents for what they have done for me during all these years.
It was our first trip to Asia all together, and LNY was a wonderful memory for all of us! I have a Chinese New Year in Penang photo story on my blog, with lots of pics from the parade in Penang.
Margherita and Nick are nature and adventure bloggers over at The Crowded Planet. They are current in Finland hanging out with some awesome reindeers. Follow their adventure on their Instagram
All photos from Margherita's blog.

As an added bonus because Margherita wish she was the cat, here is a cute illustration I saw on YouTube as to how the animals of the Chinese zodiac came to be. *Disclaimer: no scientific evidence this is true. Enjoy!