Of course there are some new year traditions that all of us share. Such as the annual reunion dinner. New clothes to ring in the year ( note my annual auspicious coloured shirts! ). Or even the red packets.
Like when do you start giving out those lovely red packets? Chinese tradition states that once you're married, you start handing them out like candy and lollies to the kids during Halloween. It's like a matrimonial penalty - once you're wedded and bedded, you're technically an adult and therefore required to start handing out cash unsubtly hidden in red packets. From the married to the unmarried - kinda like a consolation prize :P
Relative : Oh, here's your red packet. Aren't you married yet? Aren't you too old to be receiving one at this age?
Paul : Whatever. I'm not married. Pity me and pass over some good fortune.
Patent unmarriageability tends to make one mercenary! Which is why children these days have coined the materialistic phrase 恭喜发财，红包拿来.
Still, it's a tradition we all tend to follow. Just as our parents did.
Just like my grandpa before him, my father's ridiculously generous when it comes to new year charity - seems like anyone single within a ten mile radius is eligible for his annual red packet scholarship! So that includes everyone below the age of consent, the unmarriageables - and the fags. Imagine the curious motley crew at my door waiting for welfare handouts every new year morning :)
Goodbye to the old, in with the new?
By now you'll know I'm a traditional kinda fella and it pains me that some rituals of adulthood are off-limits to me just because I fuck around with men. Seems a tad biased, doesn't it? Despite the obvious dent to my woeful finances, I've always wanted to give red packets as well - though not with as little discrimination as my philantrophic dad did!
Then I found out recently that even Shameless Shalom ( in a spirit of new year generosity! ) has started giving them out as well. Obviously tempting me to do the same.
So when do gay men start handing them around? Unless the laws governing marriage undergo a revolutionary change ( which in our overly conservative country, I seriously doubt ever happening! ), I don't think happy homos would be allowed to enter the state of matrimony anytime soon. Civil marriage as a sign of maturity is obviously out so when do we technically become adults? When we start work? When we hold a commitment ceremony? Or do we just buck age-old tradition and just start handing them out arbitrarily?
I believe it's time to buck tradition with a bang!
Then again, gay boys never were all that great at following the rules after all so why should we even bother? :)