Happy Rabbit New Year!

Posted on Feb 2, 2011 in Miscellaneous | 26 comments

Chinese New Year is probably my most favourite holiday (though Christmas comes pretty close!). I’ve noticed in Western countries that Christmas is a major festivity, THE time of the year when families gather together, enjoy great food, and have fun celebrations. Some Asian families also celebrate it, but perhaps not to the same extent. It seems that for the Chinese, the Lunar New Year is to us as Christmas is to Westerners.

Celebrations last up to two weeks and it is the most fantastic time! Dragon Dances, Lion Dances, great food, yummy cookies, and for many people an excuse to buy new clothes! Then of course there’s all the visiting of relatives where you struggle to know how to address your greeting in the various dialects (especially if you don’t know who they are).

Chinese New Year Decorations

The tradition is to eat a feast on New Year’s Eve. In our family, because of Grandma, this also includes having to eat “soh mian” (this is in Foo Chow, I don’t know what it is in English) with a hard boiled egg in her special chicken soup. And I never like eating hard boiled eggs. But the noodles signify a long and healthy life, while the hard boiled egg is for prosperity. So if anyone of us grandkids say no to any part of this dish, well, we’d get quite a earful! We also have to eat this on our birthdays.

My favourite Chinese New Year food (though you sometimes find it all year round) is the Dragon Beard Candy, an ancient Chinese Emperor’s Dessert. It’s made into very sweet thin strands and sometimes filled with peanuts.

Dragon Beard Candy Stall

If you’ve never tried it, you simply have to! The only place I know to find this in the UK is London’s Chinatown. Though prices are obviously extortionate!

Dragon Beard Candy

In any case, I wish everyone a most fantastic New Year!

Gong xi fa cai, wan shi ru yi, zhu li meng en!

I love Chinese sayings. They can fit SO much meaning into just FOUR words. Same goes for their proverbs. Roughly translated it means Wishing you Prosperity in the New Year, May you have everything you wish for, and May God bless you.

Sounds much better in Chinese.

26 Comments

  1. Happy Year of the Rabbit to you too! The festivities sound like so much fun…and I love the look of that Dragon Beard Candy!

    • Thanks Faith and happy new year! Oh they’re definitely one of the best desserts! :D

  2. Wishing you and your family Happy Chinese New Year. May the year of Rabbit brings you health, wealth, joy and peace.

    • Hi Gertrude, happy new year to you too! :D

  3. Happy Lunar New Year to you, Sharon:)

    • Happy New Year Ann! Your cookies are AMAZING by the way :D.

  4. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family! I have never heard of Dragon Beard Candy but it sure looks good!

    • Really? You find it everywhere this time of year – maybe it’s called something else as well? Happy Chinese New Year to you too!

  5. Hi Sharon, you found my blog via the blog entourage and now I’m visiting you :) I think you’re spot on to focus on your writing first and the followers will come. My MIL is Chinese and we celebrated NYE last night. It’s a wonderful celebration!

    • Hi Louisa, thanks for dropping by and for your kind comment :). I’m glad you enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations! :D Happy New Year!

  6. Sounds like so much fun. I don’t celebrate CNY as much as you do. I never knew that was called Dragon Beard Candy! My dad went to China 2 years ago?, and he bought home a package of those candy and they were sooo good. But, I had no idea what they were called in English. Thanks for sharing the knowledge with me. :) I have to agree, this candy is amazing. It reminds me of a silk worm cocoon though.

    • We used to celebrate it more back home, not so much over here. I never really knew what they were called either. Until I found that stall in Chinatown haha. Silk worm cocoon…interesting description! Does look like that doesn’t it? Thankfully though, it doesn’t taste like one! :D

      • I have never seen those type of candy in the US though, maybe I didn’t look in the right places. Actually, I used to have silkworms as pets… all the way back in elementary school. Now I’m terribly afraid of them. They multiply like crazy. I ended up with so many that I got nightmares. Sounds disgusting right? We had them as class pets for school and then I wanted some as my own pet. Now I don’t want anything to do with them haha.

        • LOL!! You had silkworms as pets?! That is too funny! I don’t like worms so keeping some that multiply like crazy would scare me too haha. My sister and I, when we were kids, collected millipedes as pets because we’d find so many in Malaysia. We loved flicking them with a stick to make them curl up lol.

          Sigh, the things you do when you’re a kid haha.

          • I don’t know what I was thinking back then… Centipedes and millipedes scare me, along with cockroaches and more. This Friday, I was at my youth group, sitting down and listening to a message when I felt something weird tickle my leg. I thought it was my shoelace or something. Then, my brother’s friend told him that he saw a cockroach and my brother told me what his friend told him… I was sooo scared and my face turned really red. ewww

          • Gasp. I would have screamed! Lol. Oh centipedes are dangerous, they’re the more huge types. Milipedes aren’t as bad, they’re like little worms that curl up. But cockroaches are in a whole different league here haha.

  7. I know exactly the noodles and egg soup you’re talking about because my grandma used to make it on new years and birthdays too. I am half Chinese and my Dad’s side is Teochew (a dialect very similar to Fukien).

    I love those candies, but I am allergic to peanuts. Sometimes I cannot resist and have one (oops). Good thing they’re not deathly to me. Ha!

    Hope you and you lovely family have a happy and prosperous new year filled with great eats.

    • Oh right! Ya I have friends who are Teochew too. It’s such a great dish the noodles and egg soup, minus the egg haha.

      Haha I can just imagine you doing that! Eating something you’re allergic to lol. What can I say? You luvtoeat ;) haha.

      Hope you and your family have a fantastic and prosperous new year too! I bet you’ll be having tons of great food :D

  8. Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

  9. Happy New Year Sharon! Lol I can just imagine your grandmother chewing you out. I bet you eat it now!

    Laura

    • Lol thanks Laura! Yup, definitely have to eat it now haha ;)

  10. Happy New Year! (i presume I am not too late….still within the 15 days =P)

    The dragon beard candy looks so yummy!

    • Of course not, celebrations go on for two weeks! ;). Love that candy, it’s the best.

  11. oh, i may a bit late here..Gong Xi Fa Cai to you, sharon!! May the bunny brings lots of joy, laughter, fun, prosperity and harmony to you and your family! Those dragon bear candy are quite rare in my place here, the last time i saw this was during a promotion cum food/cultural affair from china, i think, not bad!

    • Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too! Wishing you a most happy, healthy and prosperous new year! No worries, not too late :D

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