Thursday, February 7, 2008

one, two, three, four, five, six, seven...

Exactly seven days more to " Valentine's Day" and fourteen days more before "Chinese Valentine's Day".

first day of CNY - a home cook vegetarian dish for you

Menu for 1st day of Chinese New Year - Home cook vegetarian dish

A friend was telling me a moment ago, why aren't going anywhere yet today.. is it you want to welcome the gods of heaven and earth. I just smiled at her and said.. well I just had an early vegetarian dish lunch. It is believed, throughout this day, most family members will stay close together and enjoy a vegetarian meal instead of meat so that one can lead to a long, safe and happy life.

Home cook vegetarian dish

fu chok or dried beancurd
wan yi
dried mushroom
tung fan
nam yu (optional)
button mushroom
soya sauce

from the wok to the plate. this vegetarian dish is without nam yu

with nam yu added to the vegetarian dish

from the wok to the plate. Remember to eat it while it is still hot

Since today is the first day of CNY, many people will be eating biscuits, barbeque pork, mandarin oranges, carbonated drinks and lack of plain water. Other than drinking more plain water to cool down the body system, herbal turtle jelly (gui ling gao) is good for you.

sapphires writes: How the chinese celebrate CNY

Got up early in the morning. Went for a shower, make myself fresh and changed to a new red tshirt to start of with my new day. Yesterday is no more here. It has left me for good and there is no coming back. I reminded myself many times that I have to make good use of the time given but I ended up wasting most the precious time unknowingly. From today onwards I hope I can be a better me may tomorrow be a better one. Would like to share with you:

How The Chinese Celebrate Chinese New Year.

Many people will be eating vegetarian food and prefers not to eat meat on the first day of Chinese New Year because it is believed that when they do this, it will ensure long and happy lives for them. The children and those who are not married yet are given red ang pow or "lai see" in red nicely design envelopes. For instance this year is a rat year so the envelope will have rats design or mickey and minnie and the ang pow is given as a form of good luck money. Everyone will put on new clothes and will try to behave as well as possibler. Must not wash clothes on this day, because New Year Day is believed to be birthday of the god of water. One cannot lie or raise one's voice and use undecent languages. Breaking anything on this day is believed bringing bad luck to someone. All parents shouldn't scold or punish their children. or you will have more argument throughout the Chinese New Year.

On the second day it is known as "Hoi Nin" in cantonese. The Chinese will pray to their ancestors as well as all the gods at home. Will update more about this "chor yee" day another time. On "chor yee" also people began going out to visit friends and relatives bringing along with them gifts such as pomeloes, bak kwa, mandarin oranges, groundnuts, etc. and not to forget ang pows for the children. During the visitation good yummy delicacies such as melon seeds, fruits, nian gao, biscuits: love letters, kuih bangkit, peanut cookies, jam tarts, etc and new year cakes will be served to the visitors.

On the third and fourth day is considered a day where people prefer to stay at home. It is also known as "protected day" Usually on this day very seldom and on rare occassion families or relatives will be visiting them and even no visiting of friends too. It is also known as a day where it is easy to get into arguments. Maybe it is all from the caused of eating too much fried food and visiting during the first two days of Chinese new Year day celebration. It is also understand that some of the families who had an immediate kin who had just deceased will not go house-visiting as a form of respect to the dead and they prefer to visit the grave instead. So with this some people do not want to do any house visiting at all. So much of do's and dont's on this third and fourth day. It is maybe just a believe to some people.

It is the birthday of the chinese god of wealth according to some people in places in northern part of China on fifth day of Chinese New Year. They will eat "Jiaozi dumplings". Other than that in some other places it is understand that business is traditionally re-open on this particular day to most companies accompanied by firecrackers.

However from the sixth to the tenth day, most Chinese go visiting their friends and relatives as they wish. There are also many people who will pay a visit at the temples to pray for their health and not to forget good fortune too.

On the seventh day " Happy Birthday To Everybody" It is also known as "Yan Yat" . "Yee Sang" is eaten for success and the restaurants are fully packed of people to celebrate this day and noodles are eaten for longevity.

On the midnight of eighth day, the Hokkiens will pray to "Tian Gong" or Jade Emperor the god of heaven. Thus followed by the next day which is the ninth day where they pray and make offerings to the jade emperor.

On the 15th day of Chinese New Year it is also known as "Chinese Valentine's Day" where the young girls will throw mandarin oranges in the sea or river in order to get a good husband. It is also called "Chap Goh Meh". The celebrations also end with the important and colourful "Lantern Festival" on the evening of the fifteen day of CNY.


As the fireworks went up the sky a minute just before 7th of Feb 2008, and fade off at 12am sharp, I take this opportunity to wish everyone who make a stop over at my blog a " Sparkling Chinese New Year".




The twelve animals cycle for the years

1 -Rat(mouse)--loving, keeper of secrets, charming, hard-working
2 -Ox--patient, easy-going, slow to anger
3 -Tiger--courageous, proud, cautious

4 - Rabbit--gentle
5 -Dragon--successful,bold
6 -Snake--elegant, sensible
7 -Horse--popular,clever, capable
8 -Sheep(ram)--sincere, sensible, artistic
9 -Monkey--original, talented
10 -Rooster--dependable, adventurous, forgiving
11 -Dog--responsible, gracious
12 -Pig(boar)--trustworthy, loyal

When I was much younger I heard and read of people saying there is a legend behind the twelve animals: a dog, a pig, a rat, an ox, a tiger, a rabbit, a dragon, a snake, a horse, a (ram) or sheep, a monkey, and a cockerel.

The legend of the story goes this way I if I have not forgotten.. One day, the twelve animals were quarreling about who will be head of the cycle in the years and each of them wanted to be first . A race was then held by the gods to decide who will be the head. Which ever animals reaches the opposite of the river bank would lead the year and then the rest of the animals that reaches second, third and so on would go according to their years.

All the twelve animals were very excited about it and without thinking much longer all of them agreed and gathered together at the river bank and splashed in the river as quickly as they could.

The clever rat had a good idea and grabbed hold of the ox's tail and climbed up onto his back very qucikly without it's knowledge. The ox did not even know he was there and felt sure that he was going to win, so as the ox was about to jump excitedly ashore to the other side of the river bank, the rat then quickly jumped off the ox's back, and say "Yay!" shouted the rat, "I am won the race and I am the winner, this means I am first."

Though the ox was very surprised and could not believe or understand why it is behind the rat when earlier on it thought it could be first and won the race. faster than him.and in conclusion the rat won the race. And in conclusion of the legend, the pig, who was a very lazy animal was the last to come ashore of the opposite river bank.

No wonder the rat is the first year of the animal cycle followed by the ox and definately the pig is the last of all in the animal cycle. The cycle continues to repeat after all the twelve animals took their turns in the years until now and they were very happy and never quarreled about this matter anymore and the happiest among them was the rat as he was the winner and lead the cycle of the years.

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