The lunar new year is just around the corner! This year we welcome the year of the rabbit on February 3, 2011.
But New Years is hardly a one day celebration! Most businesses and schools close for the entire week as workers travel back to visit their families. In fact, more trips are taken during this period (Spring Festival travel season, “Chunyun” 春運) than the total population of China (yes, 2.26 billion trips taken in 2008!!!). The entire New Year celebration is actually 15 days long, starting with the huge feast on the Eve and ending with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day.
Food is a huge part of the New Years celebration, with the New Years Eve meal being one of the biggest. Families get together and often enjoy fish (symbolizes abundance), dumplings (symbolizes wealth), and “Nian Gao” (new year cake). Uncut noodles are super popular, as the long noodle represents longevity. Chinese pan fried cakes (typically taro or turnip, but why not pumpkin?) is also associated with the New Year. People eat vegetarian on the 13th day of the New Year, mostly to clean out their stomachs after gorging the rest of the time! On the last day of the new year, everyone enjoys tang yuan 湯圓 (rice balls), one of my favorite foods!
I’ve compiled a bunch of my Asian recipes together in one visual spread so that you can explore at your own leisure. 🙂 Enjoy!
It’s not to late to enter the Giveaway for a beautiful gift box of reserved tomatoes from Muir Glen! Giveaway ends This Friday, January 28th, 2011.
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