Thursday, February 3, 2011

034: happy new year!

So it's the Lunar New Year! Gong Xi Fat Choy, Xin Nien Quai Lo!
There's a lot of Chinese people in this world and there are cultural differences based on regions, I guess... and our family is actually from India, so I'm not sure how much our traditions differ from others...

Here are the traditions that we participate in:
- we 'bake' (deep fry actually) a ton of treats leading up to new years, including the rosettes I wrote about the other day, the ma-hwa shown below & prawn crackers etc.
- we pray & make an offering to the ancestors the weekend prior
- we clean (sweep, change bedsheets) the night before & on the day of new years, you shouldn't shower or sweep, lest you sweep away all your new good luck that is coming to you on new years day
- we have a few big family gatherings
- we exchange red packets! yay!
- we feast on new years eve!

this was our new years eve feast. clockwise from top left: hakka chilli chicken (the most famous dish from our culture!); Soup with tofu, enoki mushrooms, carrots, peas & egg drop; deep fried pork rolled in toast (I dunno what it's called, but it's a variation of shrimp toast); tempura shrimp!

I was saying that we did a lot of baking, so I wanted to share some photos of us making "ma-hwa". It's a yummy cookie that tastes a little like fortune cookies but flakier & with sesame seeds! I'll let the photos speak for themselves!

how to make a "braid" or "twist"!
It's the easiest way I could think of to explain ;)


When we were younger, red packets used to be simple red envelopes with gold embossed letters. They'd often just have good luck & well wishes printed in Chinese... More recently they've been becoming these crazy 3D popup characters that you can even insert coins into! These are the ones my mom gave us today!

Happy new year to anyone who celebrates! & even if you don't, check out this adorable site that my bff sent me... in honour of the year of the rabbit, Daily Bunny. EEE FLUFFY!!!



  1. I'm totally coming to your place for dinner. Everything looks so damn tasty!

  2. 1. please adopt me
    2. those pop-up red envelopes are siiick

  3. I read this when I woke up this morning and I have to say I can't stop thinking about how yummy it sounds! I had to come back and tell you. Also, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    ~Emily XO!


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