15 Days of Chinese New Year Celebration
No Chinese holiday is completed without food, and Chinese New Year claims the top spot with 15-day of non-stop eating. It is not for the faint-hearted nor is it for vegetarians or the gluten-intolerant.
New Year’s Eve dinner kicks things off. It is important to have the whole family, usually several generations, together to enjoy a meal with some many courses that it never seems to end.
You barely have time to rub your round belly, when you are summoned to the family dumpling making party. “What? But WHY?” You ask. According to Chinese tradition, on the 1st day of the New Year knives are not supposed to be used, so you have to prepare all the food on New Year’s Eve. What better food than dumplings? After you make hundreds of them, you can just leave them outside, and they become frozen dumplings that can feed the whole family the next day.
Dumplings are the undisputed star of Chinese New Year, not only because they are super delicious, but also because they are an auspicious symbolism. They are shaped like an ancient ingot that was used as money, so eating dumplings on the 1st day of the New Year will bring your prosperity all year round.
While in the West people have new year’s resolution to eat healthier and lose weight, we decidedly go the opposite direction:
• 2nd day, we eat steamed buns that bring happiness and success day after day.
• 3rd day, we eat meat pies that bring harmonious family life.
• 4th day, we eat egg pancakes that bring good fortune.
• 5th day, we go back to eating dumplings again. This is an important day, because we welcome the God of Fortune into the households.
• 6th and 7th day, chicken can’t be missed at the table.
• 8th and 9th day, beef or lamb rules the day.
• 10th day, we have simple polenta soup for a quick cleansing.
• 11th day, we have fish. Fish is a must have as it symbolizes abundance in the New Year.
• 12th day, we have duck, which is my personal favorite.
• 13th day, we have shrimps. They are considered a delicacy, especially in the North, so they are saved till the end.
• 14th day, we finally give our stomach a break to just have noodles.
• 15th day is the Lantern Festival. We go out with our family to appreciate the colourful lanterns with riddles on them. Sweet rice dumplings are the perfect ending to this marathon celebration.
I don’t know about you, but I am hungry for some dumplings! If you are interested in learning how to make authentic Chinese dumplings, come to Ally’s Dumplings! No cooking experience needed and guaranteed fun and a full belly.
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