Today is the Lunar New Year, celebrated by many Asians around the world, including, Chinese, Vietnamese (they call it Tet), Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand etc. It is also the start of the year of the Rabbit. If you're born after January/February in 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, it's your year in 2023!!
New Year's Eve
Yesterday, hubby and I had our new years eve dinner at home by ourselves, nothing too extravagant as we're not good cooks. One thing that we made sure we had is tong yuan. These are glutinous rice balls and are filled with different types of fillings, such as black sesame, peanut paste or red bean paste. My favorite filling is red bean paste. You cook these in a sweet soup and have it as a dessert. It's customary to have tong yuan on lunar new year's eve as tong yuan sounds the same as togetherness or reuniting.
New Year's Day
Like many other major cultural celebrations, the Lunar New Year is all about being together with your family. This year, we had a Lunar New Year gathering with my siblings. A lot of the younger generation was able to join us as new years day falls on Sunday. Our family gatherings are always big events, and this year there was nearly 20 of us.
Normally, families would put up some new year decorations, like flowers, or Chinese calligraphy writing couplets or posters, such as these I did from back in 2020. Can you guess what animal is in the two squares? It's the name of that animal for 2020 written like the animal itself.
This year I haven't prepared anything, so I cheated and printed some posters off the internet. I know, it's a bit meh, and even though it's only a few drawings, I think it still adds to the ambience.
Dinner was mainly made by my sister in law who started the preparations the day before. We were treated to tea time first with an assortment of Chinese pastries
My brother in law did a roast goose,it smelled so good when it came out from the oven.
And here's a table full of food for 20! It's nothing fancy, just hearty home cooked food to celebrate everyone being together at the turn on of the new year. You may have noticed the table was laid with knives and forks and not chopsticks. Not sure why that is. We only noticed when we sat down and it's was quite funny as even the few westerner other halves commented they forgot how to use knive and fork at my brother's, because everytime they come for dinner they're always treated to a proper Chinese meal complete with chopsticks. Anyway, nobody was bothered about that and we couldn't wait to tuck in immediately.
After dinner, there was more food to come - dessert. We had a sago pudding in coconut soup, a batch of freshly baked egg custard tart, a mango pudding shaped like a corn (yeah, random I know) and a sugar glutinous rice cake traditionally eaten at lunar new year called lin go. Lin is year in Cantonese, and go is a type of cake and also sounds the same as high. So having lin go at new year has an auspicious meaning to start the year on a high.
With so much food, needless to say everyone went away armed with takeaway boxes.
If you don't celebrate lunar new year, I hope you got a little insight into how it's celebrated. And if you're still in the midst of celebrating lunar new year, how was yours?
Happy New Year, @livinguktaiwan !
Thanks @silversaver888. These are beautiful coins, have you been collecting the full set for every year?
I started stacking in the tail end of Lunar Series II, and I began collecting these Lunar III.
Happy New Year again!
No one here celebrates it except for Chinese immigrants and expats, but everyone is aware of it. I think the next celebration in Japan isn't until Setsubun. That is, the day before spring on the old calendar (which is 立春 in Japanese, not sure if Chinese shares the same word)
Anyway, hope you had a good one!
I'm curious that you call it "Lunar New Year". In Japan we call it "Chinese New Year". We also used that in the US when I was growing up. But I wonder if the preferred term has changed since many other countries also celebrate it?
Anyway, wow that food looks so good!
I've heard of 立春, think it's one of the other 24 important days in they lunar calendar. I believe the are or were a big part of the farmers' calender in the old days. We don't celebrate them, barely celebrate new year now which we use as an excuse for a get together and massive meal 😉
Many people are calling it lunar new year now so it doesn't get hijacked by a particular nation who likes to claim everything belongs to them or originated from them, such as this recent incident
Ahh I had no idea. Well I mean I know they try to claim everything, including Okinawa recently which fueled lots of anger here, but I didn't know about that event. I will also switch to calling it Lunar New Year then. Thanks for the tip!
Yeah, it's one of the 24 farmer days. Japan still bases a lot of their holidays on that old traditional calendar.
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Happy new year Ma'am and family! That's plenty of delicious food there. Do you also prepare a "prosperity bowl"?
The posters are cute, especially that little embroidered rabbit watching over the pastries. hehe
Is that the one where everyone toss the food up from the plate? I believe it may be a Singapore thing, as that's where I normally be see it on TV. We don't have that, but it looks fun!!!
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That's so cute!!! 😄
There were a bunch of fireworks Saturday night here and i had no clue what they were for, but I guess we have some people celebrating the Lunar New Year in my neighborhood. It was pretty cool
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Happy Lunar New Year! I saw the mooncakes :D they look pretty big!
The brown one? This is different from moon cake as it doesn't have any filling, it's just made of dark sugar and glutinous flour, and normally steamed in different moulds, so you end up with different shapes and sizes and styles
Three days of being woken at an ungodly hour by firecrackers...offset by the possibility of getting a red envelope!
Happy new year ! May your rabbit never run out of batteries :-)
I imagine its still widely celebrated in Thailand? What's the custom with red envelopes? In Hong Kong we only give them to kids and unmarried grown ups,and bosses will give them to employees. But in Taiwan, they mainly give them within the family, and some adults give them to parents and grandparents as well. Very difficult custom!
Happy New Year to you @livinguktaiwan
Here in our place, there are only some people who celebrate Chinese New Year.
All the foods serve looks delicious. I love your mango pudding dessert that shapes like corn. It's quite interesting how to make that one. Have a good day ma'am.
Thanks @selflessgem !
My sister in law loves cooking, and likes typical Chinese ladies loves to cook enough for double the number of people so we always end up with lots of food. I think we had three different types.if chicken dish yesterday !!!
Wow your food served looks very delicious.
Thanks for sharing information on how you celebrate the Chinese New Year😊
Kung Hei Fait Choi @livinguktaiwan .. San tai kin hong, san ying hing long. 😊..
Not sure with those, sounds like haha
You learnt well Jane! Though san ying hing long is to wish businesses to have a lot of trade 😉 Though thank you all the same, I trade occasionally so will need to make good money!!
Hope you're having a great holiday and got lots of lai see!
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Ohhh these dishes look very delicious. Wish I was there :P Happy rabbit lunar new year @livinguktaiwan!
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed your virtual feast!!
Wow, that is quite the spread! It looks like a lot of really great food! What an awesome way to celebrate. I am guessing red is a very important color during this time of year? My wife spent Sunday morning playing Mahjong with her family. We are about the furthest thing from Asian there is, but they started playing about a decade ago just to learn something new. I wrote a post about it this morning.
Mahjong used to be one of my favourite game, I used to play with colleagues on a Friday evening after work and sometimes we'd go on till early hours Saturday morning! It's said to be great to help prevent dementia 😉
Lemme go check out your post....
Oh really? I hadn't heard that about dementia. I have a feeling you would question that if you sat in a room with the aunties while they were playing! :)
Xin Nian Kuai Le Paulina! Ha ha. It has been so long since I was in Taiwan. Your post brought back a lot of great memories of celebrating Chinese New Year there. That looks like a great spread and so great you had so many family members there to celebrate together!
Thanks Sara. Our family events are always quite big gatherings, just like the Jarvie's! New year celebrations are a lot more fun in Asia, great atmosphere which we don't get in UK, but not complaining 😄
A great table for 20 people. What I like the most is the ambiance :) I miss my family when I read this post...
You know that is actually a table tennis table coz it's the biggest table in the house!! Do you live far away from your family and do you get to go back to see them often?
We use the old tennis table in our school as a dining table. That's why I understand you so much. It makes you look so rich. 😄 The village where I teach is quite far from my family. I will go to see them during the summer vacation.
Uou! You had a great time eating! This meal looks amazing! I had tong yuan when I was living in Malaysia and I love it! Happy new year my friend! I wish you all the best and happy days!!
Looks super yum! 😋 恭喜宏兔大展！
Happy New Year, @livinguktaiwan.
Each people has its culture, its traditions, its identity, I personally am fascinated by knowing everything that is different from what I know and I want to discover them.
By the way the goose roast looks incredible, made me crave a roast, hehe.
Happy New Year.
That dinner feast looks amazing. Especially the roasted goose. That's an impressive bird.
😀 Happy Chinese New Rabbit Year. Wish you, family and friends too gong xi fa cai.
Happy Lunar New Year to you!! Thefood looks amazing especially the roasted geese - yummy.
Damn now that looks like one hell of a delicious meal! I'm glad that you got to celebrate with family, that's the most important part of any holiday I think!
I would love to eat every single thing on those plates LOL