Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Chai - Happy New Year

Chinese New Year has always been my all time favorite season when I was growing up. Ever since I could remember my family has been going to Malacca for our yearly reunion. My uncles, aunties and cousins would come from all over meeting up at grandma's to celebrate this occation. As kids we would help out our aunties; prepare cakes and biscuits. Whilst others would help cook up a feast for the reunion dinner.

The tradition of giving red packetts was and is the best tradition of the Chinese new year; especially if you are on the receiving end. After a day of visiting relatives and collecting the red packets, us kids would sit in the corner counting how much we have received. Gambling is also another tradition of the Chinese new year, this is where we normally blow the red packetts we collected or double it. Being away in Australia for the last few years, I've been unable to celebrate this festive season with my family, but I've always made the best of it. This year, me and Yoshi decided to have a reunion of our on at our place.



Another tradition in the Chinese new year is Yee Sang ; It usually consists of strips of raw fish (most commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients. Yusheng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish (鱼)" is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance (余)", Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Basically a fish salad. We used shredded cucumber, radish, carrots, shallots, orange slices, homemade crackers and crushed peanuts. Once the ingredients is placed on the plate, all at the table then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various "auspicious wishes" out loud". It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diner's growth in fortunes, thus diners are expected to toss enthusiastically A small mess on the table usually occurs later.

Well Happy Chinese New Year to you all!!!

So what's your favorite festive season growing up?

21 comments:

Chow and Chatter said...

wow great spread oh I like Christmas

happy new year Ron

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Happy CNY! Love the yee sang.

alyshä said...

thank you both for the wonderful wonderful yee sang and dinner. made me realize that friends *are* family away from home :) love you guys!

Syida said...

happy chinese new year to you :D

Michelle Chin said...

It would be CNY, Mooncake festival and Winter festival. I love yee sang, nian gao, tang yuan and mooncakes. :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy Chinese New Year! Very festive and delicious looking food.

Cheers,

Rosa

Ana Powell said...

Happy New Year.
I love going to China Town in London to celebrate it, awesome party.
Many thanks for your visit.
Wishing you a lovely week ♥

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe so true, being on the receiving end of red packets and lots of food is fun! Happy Chinese New Year!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fabulous spread Ron. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen. It's my pleasure to get to know you.

Happy Chinese New Year to you.
Sam

chef_d said...

Happy Chinese New Year!

Pierce said...

Happy New Year Ron! Thanks for visiting me and I completely agree with you about Bourdain :-)

You have such a nice layout on your blog - love the photos.

RamblingTart said...

What a fabulous night! :-) Everything looks delicious. My favorite holiday is Christmas, most definitely. :-) Though Canadian Thanksgiving is right up there too!

Joanne said...

This is some beautiful Chinese new year food!

Bren said...

Happy New Year and nice to find your blog. I need to do more Chinese food sine my late grandfather was an Asian man...so awful of me, I know, but I always get so distracted! :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

I like the tradition of Yee Sang. I like the idea of everyone wishing others around the table a good year while digging into food.

MaryMoh said...

Yee sang is always my best for Chinese New Year. It is so fun tossing and so delicious to eat :D

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a great array of food. I hope you had a very happy Chinese new year Ron.
Sam

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Nice CNY feast!!!

Indie.Tea said...

I worked for a Chinese-American politician, and so CNY was a very busy time of year for us. I love all the food and bright red decorations. O, and the red envelopes, of course.
And your food pics look great.

That's Ron said...

Thanks All for your wonderful wishes!

Carolyn Jung said...

When I was a little kid, I always thought the best part of Chinese New Year's was the red envelopes with money inside. But now that I'm older and wiser, I realize the best part is just getting together with family to share great food and to make wonderful new memories.