Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Chinese New Year fun...

Chinese New Year last for 15 days... and we kept having fun the entire time... here are some more activities we got to experience during this festive time.

One of the most the most famous day during this celebration is the 7th day where they do have the Yusheng - the salad toss. We were invited to the Ang's for the festivities... here are Esther and Williams sweet children... you have seen them before but I can never get enough of them... so cute right? You will notice that Malcolm is holding up his Ang Pow (red packet) that we gave him read more about them here...but essentially a tradition where married adults give money to the children.

The dish The Singapore-based Yusheng had fish served with daikon (white radish), carrots, red pepper (capsicum), turnips, red pickled ginger, sun-dried oranges, daun limau nipis (key lime leaves), Chinese parsley, chilli, jellyfish, chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, Chinese shrimp crackers (or fried dried shrimp), five spice powder and other ingredients, laced with a sauce using plum sauce, rice vinegar, kumquat paste and sesame oil, for a total of 27 ingredients. Originally, the dish used raw mackerel, although in deference to the popular wishes of customers, salmon was later offered as an alternative due to the growing popularity of Salmon.

Serving Yusheng is often served as part of a multi-dish dinner, usually as the appetizer due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year. Some would consume it on Renri, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, although in practice it may be eaten on any convenient day during Chinese New Year (1st to 15th Day).

The base ingredients are first served. The leader amongst the diners or the restaurant server proceeds to add ingredients such as the fish, the crackers and the sauces while saying "auspicious wishes" (吉祥话 or Jíxiáng Huà) as each ingredient is added, typically related to the specific ingredient being added. For example, phrases such as Nian Nian You Yu (年年有余) are uttered as the fish is added, as the word Yu (余), which means "surplus" or "abundance", sounds the same as the Chinese word for fish (yu, 鱼).

All diners at the table then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various "auspicious wishes" out loud, or simply "撈起, 撈起". It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diner's growth in fortunes, thus diners are expected to toss enthusiastically.

So here we go...

One day after soccer practice we heard some drums in the distance and we had to go check it out... we were hoping for a lion dance... and sure enough there was. Dragon and lion dances are common during Chinese New Year. It is believed that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face of the dragon or lion dancing aggressively can evict bad or evil spirits.

While on the table... the dancers under the lion costume spell out a word in Chinese in orange slices... here Pierce is taking a peak and then the lion stands up and reveals the word. Usually words of prosperity or wealth.

Pierce took the picture above and below himself... I love the last picture... we might have a photographer in the making.

Just another reason why we love living in Asia... the festivities never stop.

Then back to reality... waiting for a taxi after a hot day playing soccer in the sun...


Denton Family said...

I bet Blake love dinner!

Denton Family said...

I bet Blake loved the dinner


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