This week we are in the midst of the Chinese New Year celebration. A celebration that began on January 28th, and ends on February 11th. We learned quite a bit about this celebration while living in Singapore, and find now that if you look, it is celebrated all over the US as well, just not quite as elaborately.
I have recently discovered that about 2 billion people celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is about the same number of people who celebrate Christmas. Pretty interesting considering everywhere you go, even non-Christian countries, you see signs of Christmas. And now that we know to look for it we see signs of the Chinese New Year all over too.
This year we celebrate the year of the rooster. For those interested, the Jade Emperor chose 12 animals for the Chinese zodiac based on the contributions they make to humans. The Ox plows, the dog watches, and the pig provides meat, etc. The rooster provides its reliable voice to wake the people. The story is quite involved, but this is the one sentence synopsis.
Fast forward a gajillian years. And we celebrate this holiday several ways.
We decorate with bowls of oranges, and set off fireworks. We eat traditional Chinese New Year Dishes. Bakwa, which is like a sweet beef jerky (only made of pork), and Yusheng, which is a salad with raw fish and several other ingredients. Here is the dish topped with Salmon, that will be tossed, and shared with everyone at our table.
Another mainstay of the Chinese New year is pineapple cakes. Pineapple is chosen for a funny reason. Pineapple in Chinese, sounds like another word in Chinese that means the arrival of prosperity.
So now, in Austin, we chose to celebrate the Chinese new year, by going out to a local Chinese restaurant, General Tso’ Boy’s.
We had our usual favorites…
but to make it special, we were invited back into the kitchen for the making of the Lunar New Year’s Special, a Pineapple Cake Sundae.
Delicious, with prosperity sure to follow!