Chinese New Year
starts on February 5, 2019
"The Year of the Pig"
Click Here to Examine Your " Year of the Pig " Horoscope
China or abroad.
It is equal to Christmas, birthday, and holiday, all rolled up in one. Such
being the case, New Year's cannot be celebrated in one day.
Father is far from idle. Being a well respected citizen of the Chinese community we live in, he begins early to go over his books. To all
At midnight, from everywhere, firecrackers sputter with alacrity. Then the dragon dance begins. Teen aged youths dressed in colorful costumes of red, green, and gold get under a make-believe dragon. They turn, twist, writhe, shake, and jump under this animal. The dragon will flap its wide, wide mouth and bare two sharp fangs. Its glass eyes beam like headlights. Thus this ferocious serpent parades throughout the town accompanied by loud drums and cymbals. It stops at each store to wolf down a head of lettuce (dollar bills) tied on a pole above the door. (This money goes for charity.) Adolescents light the way with pretty paper lanterns.
The procession stops at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Building. With a final barrage of fireworks from the Mayor, the dragon gives a great leap, bows and flees
into his lair up in the municipal building. Few adults retire. Many men stay up all night without sleep, playing cards and making merry.
The women are busy with last-minute preparations.
In the morning the children are up with the sun. Everyone has taken a bath, cut and washed his hair the day before, so all one needs to do this day is to put on
smart new clothes from head to toe. The girls wear their most stunning costumes.
Before breakfast the children of the family line up to wish father and mother a happy new year. In return the parents give each child his first red envelope
for the New Year, usually containing two coins. Two pieces arc necessary because the Chinese believe everything good must come in twos, though it is not
important that they are identical. Thus, the Chinese character for 'good' consists of a girl and boy together. If you want to give paper money...
this is ok in a single bill.
Around 9 o'clock the children go in groups to every store in the Chinese district to wish every proprietor a prosperous New Year. In each case they
are rewarded with more tiny packages Of lucky money and oranges.
After lunch every one goes out. The housewives call on each other briefly and exchange presents of steamed pastries, "Diem Sum"
(delicacies that touch the heart) and fruits. All the men go to their own family clubs to see old relatives and friends.
There they chew watermelon seeds, drink pale Chinese tea, gossip, and gamble. The children are seen everywhere, playing in their fine clothes.
Dinner on New Year's Day is a family feast within the immediate family and friends. Every family has its own special recipes. Some families do not and pot luck is often the venue which makes the menu interesting. Our family's favorite hors d'oeuvre are deep fried crab legs, steamed mussels, deep friend calamari and barbequed pork. Then different chicken dishes are served. Every family serves the simple white-cut chicken with oyster sauce, birds' nest soup intact in a chicken, squab, fried lobster in the shell, cold abalone, honey-glazed duck, crisp skinned chicken, vermicelli, octopus, seaweed soup, snow pea vegetable, sea cucumber, and many other indescribable dishes followed by pots of "Oulong" Tea.
A typical food table
with lots and lots of varieties of food
Some New Year's Day Menu Suggestions
Bird's Nest Soup
Deep Fried Crab Legs , Calamari , Chicken Wings
Roast Barbeque Pork
Roast Barbeque Duck or Goose
Yangchow Fried Rice
Sweet and Sour Fish
Beef and Cauliflower
Steamed White Chicken with Oyster Sauce
Salt Roasted Chicken
Stir Fried Shrimp and Asparagus
Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce
Cantonese Lobster and Crab
Steamed Guy Lon with Oyster Sauce
Rice Noodles with stir fried pork, shrimp and bean sprouts
Plates of Fruit
Bananas, Oranges, Apples, Pears, Lichees
Almond cookies, egg tarts, steamed almond sponge cake, fresh fruit salad
After the meal some men will usually play the finger challenge. It's more or less an odd and even game. The loser has to down more
"Ng Ga Pei" (pronounced eng gar pay), a very potent rice spirit, every time he shoots out the wrong number of fingers.
This noisy game keeps up till one player becomes incapacitated.
Record lots of family images like these
I would love to see your Chinese New Year family pic
Just send it to me via e-Mail and I might find somewhere
on this page to post it.
In the evening nearly everyone goes to the theatre or watch movies. Sometimes, the theatre company is a local one and should be supported if there is none, then everyone goes to the movies or rent videos to be watched by everyone. The entertainment is not the important thing, what is important is that family and friends are together. .
With excepts from "Chinese Cooking Made Easy" - Isabelle C. Chang
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