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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Gung Hei Fat Choi! (wishing good fortune/prosperity), Happy New Year, Wishing you good health, May all your wishes come true!