I went shopping to create a meal to celebrate Chinese New Year as part of my membership with the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. And yes, I was paid to do this. I hope you like the post I wrote as a result! #CollectiveBias #shop #cbias
As you could probably plainly tell from my post on the Christmas Holidays, I am missing the holiday season. So I thought that celebrating the Chinese New Year would be a perfect excuse to help our family extend the general merriness out as long as possible.
All I really knew before writing this post though was that the Chinese New Year took place at the end of January. My daughter Stella also told me that it is the lunar Year of the Horse (her animal sign!). I found it really interesting to learn more about this festival.
To honour it, we’ll be having a family dinner together (our dinner with not be “authentic” but we’ll share the tradition and teach the kids more about it)… maybe you’d like to join us and do the same on January 31st?
According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board site, the Chinese New Year starts on January 31st and runs for 15 days. During this time, there are a number of family traditions and customs that are celebrated, which all culminate on February 14th with the Spring Lantern Festival.
Auspicious foods for celebrating the new year include black moss, dried oysters, and braised pig trotter. Since I don’t really have these foods on hand, I am going super-basic (as is my style in the kitchen anyhow!) with a beef and broccoli stir fry. The only ingredient I don’t have in my cupboard is a sauce, so I hit up the aisle that had “Chinese” in its label at my local Sobey’s and picked up this VH Chinese Szechwan sauce. A friend had also given us a big bag of shiitake mushrooms, so they were thrown in the wok as well. (Don’t mind Stella’s “thumb’s up” in the photo … it’s her own personal form of photo bombing these days!)
This meal was incredibly simple and quick to make. Just fry up onion and beef (you could substitute beef for any other protein really) in the wok until the beef is cooked through, then throw in vegetables (in this case, I used mushrooms and broccoli), cooked soba noodles, and sauce and stir them around for 5-10 minutes. Serve!
For dessert, I thought it might be fun to add some of these little plastic horses of the kids to the top of a cake.
Stella was born in 2002, so she was born in Year of the Horse. Here is how these people are described on the Travel China site:
“People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn.”
Stella does not like to be the center of attention, but she is certainly clever, kind, and (very) talkative! And even though she might not enjoy being in the limelight, we will definitely make a special toast just for her on January 31st.
What I love most about the Chinese New Year is that it avoids all of the standard North American chatter about making resolutions (which I am clearly terrible at since I can’t seem to keep them!). Instead, its focus is on expressing thanks for the past 12 months and praying for good fortune in the year ahead.
One Day …
After looking at all of the celebrations for the Chinese New Year, I now want to be able to one day celebrate it in Hong Kong. Not only would Stella be in heaven during the parades filled with traditional dragon costumes (her favourite creature) but I think it would be an amazing experience for the whole family, don’t you?