The diary of a foreign daughter-in-law during Spring Festival

By Jessica Ward | | 2017-02-06 13:20
The diary of a foreign daughter-in-law during Spring Festival

Jessica sets off firecrackers at her husband's home in Zhanjiang city, South China's Guangdong province, during Spring Festival. [Photo provided by Jessica to]

As we walk in, we are greeted by my husband's brother, sister, and older cousin. Later, followed by his aunts and uncles. Many extended family members live in this place. I'd say more than 10 of his relatives live in the building. His mother and father were busy farming shrimp on the island they rent offshore. I would not see them until the following day. The house itself is quite lively. In Spring Festival tradition, everyone is reunited, back home safe and sound. There are no decorations or ornaments adorning the walls or door that would indicate it's Spring Festival however. The only thing you would notice is that there is a lot more incense burning in the living room.

Since it's my fourth year here, I'm quite familiar with the traditions of my husband's family and what should be done. Most days though, we stayed at home. I am in no way shape or form a good cook, but I'll do my best to help his sister or mom prepare some dishes for lunch or dinner. After eating, I was able to help my husband set off some firecrackers outside the house in order to keep the bad luck away. The house is in poor condition, but the happiness and love that fills the house can repair every crack and break in the foundation.

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