Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year festivities began yesterday (and generally last a week long)! To be honest, we haven’t done much around here (we’ve been suffering from bad allergies). Perhaps what inspired me to write was a BBC article (from which I got the photo above) and the BBC’s Chinese New Year’s “in pictures”–check it out (especially if you don’t know much about this lunar holiday ; )

it's a big deal in many places, I thought the photos on the BBC from the London celebration was pretty neat, too (this photo from asiangrocers.com)

Sifting through the photos and reading the numerous articles on various lunar new year traditions made me reminisce about my childhood and nostalgic for some of the traditions within my own family–especially, this one:

tang yuan soup--sweet, glutinous, rice balls in a sweet soup (taken by cheateat.typepad.com)

I have very fond memories of making tang yuan with my mum and grandma on new year’s eve, we would sit together around the kitchen table rolling ball after ball of this sweet glutinous dough, some tinted with red (for good luck), and others white.After calling home to wish my parents, ‘sin-ngi-yuu-ee’, (“happy new year” in my chaozhou dialect, phonetically accuracy?), I decided to google recipes for tang yuan and found the photo above and a corresponding recipe that I hope to try before the week is up. I kind of want to carry on the tradition of making them with Emmy when she gets a bit older…plus, I remember sitting in on some pretty great conversations ; )

i want to share those traditions with this sweet girl...

Now, my folks weren’t really into tradition, but we made tang yuan, dumplings, and stir fried leeks EVERY year. Leeks?!

Yes, leeks. Stir fried leeks were tossed into my rice bowl each year along with the rhyme, “chia sung ou chee cung.” In Chaozhou, it means, “eat leek and you will have money to save.”— silly? yes and no I don’t believe in these superstitions but, it’s a saying that I always associate with leek! Ironically, I never thought to browse the web and read up on it until this year, but it’s true other Chinese dialects have similar sayings when it comes to leek, check out this little tidibit from Noobcook.com.

There are many food traditions that come with this holiday, and I’ve really enjoyed dabbling here and there to better understand it. In a way, it’s helping me embrace my heritage…something, I don’t think about nearly as often as I know I should.

Neither Daniel nor I had done much since we got married to usher in the Lunar New Year. But in retrospect, I see that Chinese New Years does have a special place in my heart. I loved celebrating this holiday with family and will savor those memories!
….all this reflecting makes me want to try some traditional Chinese recipes this week. But, that’s it for now, I think my Benedryl is kicking in—-Let’s hope this nostalgia moves me to ring in the Year of the Dragon with more vigor! Happy New Year!


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