Sunday, February 22, 2015

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR

chinese new year title
It's that time of year again and Chinese New Year madness has descended upon the DC household and the house is adorned with red banners and lucky symbols. As families go, we're pretty traditional and we keep almost all the superstitious rituals. These include spring cleaning before the new year as during new year as any cleaning/sweeping is forbidden as we may 'sweep' away any new year luck. Other things include cleansing with pomelo leaves as the pomelo is associated with luck and good fortune. It's also tradition to get your hair cut before new year and buying of shoes over the festive season is most definitely frowned upon as it's considered extremely unlucky - those are just a few but if you're interested, I found this link!
1. cny layout
I always do similar posts every year so do click on the Chinese New Year tag to read more from previous years but here is a quick round up! Our house has been decorated with plenty of red and gold banners and one thing we always have are fresh flowers in the house for decoration and these lilies are really pretty and super fragrant.
1. lily
1. laisee and tong yuen
If you follow my instagram, you will have noticed there has been non-stop food over there and Tong Yuen are a must over New Year. These are glutinous rice balls in a ginger syrup and we usually have ours filled with a bit of rock sugar. We always make these the day after Chinese new year and offer them to the Kitchen God (more info here) and then we get to eat it! It's also custom for married couples to give the unmarried (mainly children) red pockets (or laisee in Cantonese chinese) and along with my cousins and sisters most of the 'kids' in my family still receive them.

Below are Mai Toong which is a puffed rice snack which my grandma always makes. She literally cleared the shelves of the local supermarket buying boxes of rice crisps, peanuts and golden syrup. I wish I had been there to see the cashiers faces!
1. Mai Toong
Chinese New Year is all about symbolism and all the foods have a connotation to luck and prosperity. The candy box represents good fortune and the colour red is considered lucky. It's filled with dried candied fruits and sweets which all have different meanings! From the lotus root (round shape) which represents strong family ties to the coconut which represents friendship. We always put a red pocket  in for extra luck. 
1. candy box
1 candybox and oranges
It's not New Year if we don't have a crateful of mandarin oranges in the house. They symbolise good fortune and prosperity and it is custom to gift these when visiting family/friends. It becomes a bit of an exchange, our mandarins for your mandarins! I've been eating these non stop and it's also become one of my most used emojis on my phone during New Year.
CNY dinner
Lastly above is the big family meal we had today at my grandmas and I am still experiencing a bit of a food coma. All my family gathered for the day and we feasted and caught up and as predicted, it was chaotic, noisy and a lot of fun. It felt very much like Christmas all over again. I think I need to go on a detox asap and at least you'll see a little less back to back food pics on my Instagram for a while!

To readers that also celebrate CNY, I hope you all had a fantastic one with family. If you joined in any festivities (did any of you see any lion dances or watch any firecrackers?) I hope you all had fun!
恭喜發財! 新年快樂,身體健康,心想事成!
Gung Hei Fat Choi! (wishing good fortune/prosperity), Happy New Year, Wishing you good health, May all your wishes come true!
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36 comments

  1. Happy Chinese New Year! I love reading about all of the customs and rituals. It also sounds like a lovely time to spend with family and the food looks amazing. The flowers are beautiful too.

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  2. Omg the food looks incredible!! Sounds like you had such a good time, happy Chinese New Year!
    Saadiya x


    www.thatgirlsaadiya.blogspot.com

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  3. What a feast! Happy Chinese New Year to you! It looks like you had an awesome time!

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  4. The lillies are beautiful and the food looks absolutely, ridiculously good. 新年快樂!! <3

    allygong.com

    -Ally Gong

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  5. this is lovely, you guys know how to through a proper bash. interesting about the cutting hair for good luck and buying new shoes is bad.

    Buckets & Spades

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  6. Happy Chinese New Year! The food looks absolutely amazing!

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  7. I had no idea that there were so many superstitions related to Chinese New Year! It was interesting to look into your own family's traditions :) Those puffed rice snacks look yummy! And remind me of rice krispie treats lol

    Mili

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  8. Happy Chinese New Year Winnie ^__^
    of course you had a nice one! Look at
    the foooood :o Xx http://icepandora.blogspot.com

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  9. Haha thank you, it's not CNY without the food right?! Hope you had a lovely one too!

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  10. Thanks Ceri - I think I love CNY more and more every year because I start taking more notice of all the customs! The flowers are still going strong :)

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  11. Thanks so much Saadiya! I had a lovely CNY :) xx

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  12. Thanks Annabelle! Hope you had a great one in Hong Kong, I totally wish I was over there during the festivities. Though I have to admit that my family in UK are a lot more boisterous and crazy than my family in HK....so I'd hate to miss out here too :P

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  13. Thanks Ally! Happy CNY to you too, hope you had a lovely one with family? I have been eating so many sweet treats lately - definitely need to lay off the sugar now...

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  14. Thanks so much Ting! Loving your post on Japan xxx

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  15. Thanks Matt, we sure do! Yeah the word for hair sounds like 'fortune' and then the word for shoes sounds like 'rough'. So the idea is that if you buy new shoes over CNY, you're going to have a rough year ahead. Sounds very superstitious but it's fun to keep...

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  16. Thanks Valerie! The food was awesome and we were all so full after. We all took leftovers home with us too :D

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  17. Oh yeah CNY is full of superstition which I find really fascinating. The snacks basically are rice crispy treats haha, laced with plenty of golden syrup. I probably need to see a dentist now after chinese new year :P

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  18. Great post, and I love celebrating the Chinese New Year. The perfect pick me up this time of year. All that food looks ah-mazing!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

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  19. AAAA WANNA EAT THOSE TOO

    http://somethingrealserious.blogspot.com/2015/02/my-ideal-japanese-winter-holiday.html
    WIN TRIP TO JAPAN : MY IDEAL JAPANESE WINTER HOLIDAY, +20 PLACES TO GO DURING WINTER IN JAPAN

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  20. Look at all that food! It looks so good! I made a chinese dragon for my preschoolers last week in work for them to dance in! xx

    www.roseandmuse.com

    www.roseandmuse.com

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  21. This looks incredible, happy Chinese New Year!


    Maria xxx

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  22. Your photos are always so lovely! And that looks absolutely delicious! Happy chinese year btw :)

    ---

    http://breakfastataris.blogspot.com

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  23. Amazing post, loved seeing all your CNY traditions! I believe they also give out envelopes in Japan around new year too. All the food looks insanely good, don't blame you for the food coma it looks delish! xx

    ☾ Liquorice Pearls ☾

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  24. Thanks Erin! I always look forward to the sweet treats whenever it's this time of the year :)

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  25. It's such a fun holiday! I will aim to celebrate it in HK one of these days!

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  26. The Chinese dragon sounds SO adorable and a lot of fun for the kids too.

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  27. Thanks so much Maria! I was so stuffed after this meal (and ALL the food)!

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  28. Thanks Ariana, you're always so sweet! xxx

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  29. Oh yeah, I suppose it's more 'lunar new year' in most places? The food is an essential part of CNY and I always look forward to it! xx

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  30. Oh you're not supposed to buy new shoes over CNY??? I didn't, but didn't know that either! When I went to bob my hair the stylist was telling me this was the busiest time of the year and he doesn't get a holiday like the rest of us. It's funny but I think it's the perfect time to cut your hair after all the 'Western' holidays and you feel like you need a change/refresher for the rest of the year!

    And I'm laughing at your Chinese dinners because my family in HK pales in comparison with yours when it comes to the lavishness of the meals.

    Sam
    http://www.samishome.com

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  31. Nope no shoes miss! It's just superstition isn't it but my parents always like to remind me so I've kept that tradition for now. I usually get my haircut before too but I didn't this year - I guess over CNY, the salons must be so quiet since everyone's had their hair cut!
    Oh man, My family in HK put on a slightly smaller spread haha, it's just that in the UK, there are more mouths to feed. Still, my family in HK are the most traditional compared to my family in the UK...maybe I'll come back and experience it one year.

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  32. oh my gosh the food looks amazing! i am in awe of all the chinese/lunar new year celebration pictures :) happy new year!

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