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Kung Hey Fat Choi or Happy New Year and welcome to  the Year of The Goat.

Not only is it Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year is celebrated by many Asian cultures.

Myth and Legend

It is a time of wondrous celebration, with origins which go back to a time of myths and legends. There are paper-dragon  dances, parades and red clothing to commemorate the legend of Nian, a mythical beast who terrorized villagers once every year. The colour red and the din that is created is meant to drive away any lingering devils or spirits. Now the word Nian, in modern Chinese means “year”.

The Year of the Goat

The New Year is marked by animal, for according to legend, Buddha invited all the creatures in his kingdom to appear before him. The 12 animals which completed the journey – the rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, serpent, horse, goat, monkey, cock, dog and pig – were then honoured with rotating names of the year. The exact date in the Western calendar changes because it is fixed using a Chinese lunar calendar in which each month begins with the new moon. People born in a particular year are believed to share some of the personalities of that particular animal.

Feasting

It is a time of feasting, with particular foods for different good wishes.

This is my version of angel hair –  Glass noodle salad – and add me prawns to it

glass_noodle_salad

Delicacies include prawns, for liveliness and happiness, dried oysters (ho xi), for all things good, raw fish salad (yu sheng) to bring good luck and prosperity, Fai-hai (Angel Hair), an edible hair-like seaweed to bring prosperity, and meat-filled dumplings boiled in water (Jiaozi). “Jiaozi” in Chinese literally mean “sleep together and  have sons”, a long-lost good wish for a family.

Try my pork dumplings

dumplings

No New Year Eve’s meal would be complete without fish. The Chinese character for “abundance” sounds the same as “fish”. There is also a vegetarian dish with a special seaweed called fatchoi, which sounds the same as the word meaning prosperity.

Whatever the food, the quantity prepared at this time is to symbolize abundance and wealth for the household.

Here is a link to my Char Siew pork

Porkcharsiew2