For 1 billion Chinese people in the world, February 3, 2011 is the beginning of one of the most celebrated and auspicious holidays in its culture. For the following 15 days, the Chinese celebrates and ushers in the New Year with not only a big bang, but plenty of eating, visiting and gambling. This year, the Year of the Rabbit, is said to offer much respite from the tumultuous passing of the Year of the Tiger. It is said to be a calm-er and slower year ahead, one for those who strive and slogged through the Tiger Year. It is a year of recovery and comfort.
Little known useless fact: the Year of the Rabbit is also known to some as the Year of the Cat (by the Vietnamese). I once watched an anime called Fruits Basket that had 13 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. That 13th animal is an ostracized cat, but a cat nonetheless.
Aside from the usual tradition before and during the celebration of the New Year, there is the much sought after food during the festivities.
Unfortunately, there will be none of the celebrating for us, or visiting. We are by all accounts, still in mourning after my grandfather’s recent passing. One hundred days have not yet passed.
We, however, can still eat and enjoy each other’s company.
We also swept and cleaned the house, and even managed to change the bed sheets over to the silk comforter that my father bought from China years back. Hubs thought the golden silk duvet cover of dragon and phoenix embroidery was just too Chinese. He told me to sleep by myself. All the better, because I think this “Queen-sized” comforter was meant for little people and not the “American” size.
Unlike last year, the eve of this New Year falls on a week day. What’s more, I was not allowed to take the New Year off (I called that racism and everything else under the snowy and icy sky of New Jersey). So no big dinner on the eve of New Year, but hubs, DC and I will be going out for dinner tomorrow. We would have done a cookout for friends and family over the weekend, but circumstances dictates otherwise.
In any case, we will STILL be stuffing our faces and awaiting my younger sister’s arrival on Superbowl Sunday (the third day of Chinese New Year) to have steamboat at home.
初一 First Day
Went to work – to earn my keep. Came back to really happy children.
After waiting for some time to get a table at Petite Soo Chow in Cliffside Park, NJ, we were finally seated. We ordered fish 鱼 steamed with tofu and chilli in clay pot, (鱼 yu sounds like “extras” – extra food, extra money, extra love, just plain extra), pan-fried noodles, vege wrapped in bean curd skin and scallion pancake. Great dinner that left us waddling to the car and DC made sure the final bill came up to $X8.88.
Off to more eating tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday!