For the past two weeks, we have been celebrating two things... Chinese New Year and... well, the Olympics.
Many people will be surprised to know that Chinese New Year is not just a one day celebration, as is the western New Year, but rather it lasts for 15 days and each day has a special meaning.
I don't ever remember celebrating each day for 15-days, but as my previous post will attest, we did celebrate at least the first four days.
When I think of celebrating each day for 15-days, well it does seem like a lot of fun. What we have been doing is eating for the past two weeks... a LOT!
There are days like the 7th day of the Lunar New Year that is considered everyone's birthday. It goes back to the belief that the God's were creating all the creatures of the world, and on the 7th day, they created human's. So on this day, we eat special cakes and wish each other a "Happy Birthday"; although for many westerners, the idea that it means turning another year older... well, it just does kind of repel us doesn't it?!
Then there is the 12th day which is called "Diarrhea Day" as we've been eating so many fried and heavy foods over the last 11-days that when we get to the 12th day, well, I guess it all just has to make its "exit".
Let's just say that I did all I could to avoid "celebrating" on that day. I guess it could be called "worshiping the porcelain God day"... Even if it meant taking quantities of immodium, I was bound and determined to NOT celebrate.
The 13th day and the day when businesses in Asia worship the God, Guan Yu. He was a warrior in the 3rd century and was a very good general, very successful businessman, and also very generous to those less fortunate. Eventually, he was killed by being beheaded but because of all the good works he did in his life, he was elevated to God-head status; and today businesses will worship him on this day in hopes that the coming year will bring much prosperity, loyalty, generosity, and success.
On the final day, it is called Lantern Festival. This is different from the mid-Autumn Lantern Festival, and most of the lanterns displayed on the 15th and final day of the Lunar New Year, are the red round ones.
Backing up to the first day of Chinese New Year, I made a nine-dish dinner feast. How I did all nine dishes on my own, I have no idea... It was really good even though I did not get too much of a chance to sit, eat and enjoy; but my guests and my husband enjoyed so that was what was important... at least for me who is a true cook at heart.
Over the next few days, I am going to post a few recipes for what I made that night for you to try and enjoy. If you do make any of these dishes, please do let me know how you enjoyed it.
These are a few recipes which I grew up with, and they come from my home, and my heart, with all the memories of my youth, to you. Enjoy!