Gung Hay Fat Choy!
(May prosperity be with you)
Xin Nian Kuai Le!
(Happy New Year)
This year is the year of Wu Zhi.
The Year of the Rat...
This year, 2008, is Year 4705 by the Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year, also known as the "Spring Festival", falls on a different date each year, ranging from late January to mid-February, (basically on the second new moon after the winter solstice.)
If you were born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 - you were born under the sign of the rat!
Unlike our western New Year, celebrations aren't tightly focused on one particular date.
The big day itself will be February 7 2008 but festivities can occur on weekends before or after that date!
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4706 begins on Feb. 7, 2008.
Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year
A Chinese proverb states that all creations are reborn on New Year’s day. The Chinese New Year is a celebration of change ... out with the old and in with the new!
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. Those born in rat years tend to be leaders, pioneers, and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in eac
h animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in rat years
Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spir
The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host ban
quets and other New Year events.
Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival on the fifteenth day of the month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full
In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend.
Tangerines and oranges are given as gifts, as their Chinese names sound like "gold" and "wealth".
One of the most popular dishes at most Chinese restaurants is a stir fry. Here is one that is easy and good.
~Garlic Chicken Stir Fry~
Crunchy vegetables and chicken are treated to a quick garlic-ginger saute, then tossed in a lightly sweetened soy sauce for a quick and colorful stir-fry. Dish it up over rice or noodles and you're done!
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced cabbage
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Heat peanut oil in a wok or large skillet. When oil begins to smoke, quickly stir in 2 cloves minced garlic, ginger root, green onions and salt. Stir fry until onion becomes translucent, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and stir until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add remaining 4 cloves minced garlic and stir. Add sweet onions, cabbage, bell pepper, peas and 1/2 cup of the broth/water and cover.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup broth/water, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Add sauce mixture to wok/skillet and stir until chicken and vegetables are coated with the thickened sauce. Serve immediately, over hot rice if desired.
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