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