Yes I know it is a bit late but traditionally Chinese New Year celebrations would last for 15 days so I'm just going to believe that I chose to leave it mid celebration and was fulfilling my filial duties over the first few days. Buhaha excuses I know, but did you see my New Years post? Exactly.
2014 ushers in the Year of the Horse. (I was going to post a link to a site that you can use to find out what Chinese zodiac sign you are however it appears to be a little bit broken at the moment. I might just re-post it in another post.)
Chinese New Year for me usually entails family, lots and lots of food, the annual trip to China Town, kung fu demonstrations and the dreaded pre-new year 'spring clean'.
This year was no different to that formula. I've learnt that if I want to avoid the slave labour of washing grimy windows and the next week of coughing up dust, to make the perfect timely arrival. Just before Dinner time hahaha! Of course even when arriving at the specified time for dinner nothing is really actually ready.
This year's pre-new year meal was Steamboat. For those who don't know I guess it's kind of like the Japanese Shabu-shabu or a Korean hot pot except the flavours are different. My family generally tend to use an assortment of beef, chicken, barramundi, prawns, beansprouts, cabbage and whatever Chinese vegetable is in season. Noodles are optional and so is broth (water however is not optional, steam boat wouldn't work without it), although the cook for the night kept adding some strange spicy prawn broth, despite the protests of the rest of the table.
New Years dinner was a table filled with steamed and stir fried buk choy, tofu pork, watercress fried with chilli and steam boat for those who wanted seconds. (I have to chuckle at that one.)
Our visit to Chinatown always always means having Yum Cha at the King of Kings restaurant, my mums favourite. I love eating the steamed BBQ pork buns, and a lemon shaped pork dumplings, which I can never remember the name of. My family is also a really big fan of the mango pancakes that they do there as well. It's kind of like a dumpling X burrito X wrap like desert consisting of crepe, whipped cream and mango pieces. I opted out of the mango pancake this year as the vast amount of cream, whilst very delicious, can sometimes leave you feeling quite sick.
Dinner is always an interesting affair as you never know what you'll end up getting. I remember some years we would just get bread for dinner and would eat it while watching the various live New Years shows. This year we had Malaysian for dinner, as most of the other places were either booked out, had a 2 hour waiting period, only offered banquets (they are EXPENSIVE) or were Vietnamese - which my mum didn't want to eat. You see even though you might be asked for your dining location preference, whether friend or family, if the head of the family does not want to go there your opinion is basically not needed. It's probably for this reason why the question "What do you feel like for dinner?" and "Where would you like to go to eat?" are so laughable and yet frustrating questions to be asked for the children in my family, as you know there's no point answering.
Photos to come later! I didn't bring my camera with me this trip but I did bring my Instax Mini, (my new toy - so much fun!). As I don't have a scanner I'll take some photos of them when I end up going back home.
My family is not very traditional when it comes to these things so I'd love to know:
What do you do for your Chinese New Year celebrations?
Have you even heard of Chinese New Year before?