What’s special about Chinese New Year?

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Happy 2015 Chinese New Year!

It’s been 2 months since the new year of 2015 have started but I’m so excited to celebrate the new year all over again. This time, over the time frame of 2 weeks too! This celebration reminds me of the time when I was back in my home town celebrating with my family and loved ones. The main purpose of this celebration is to bring family together to welcome the new year as a family. No matter how far each family member is in all over the world, everyone would take all forms of transport to reunite together. Usually all trains and planes are booked out during this period.

I remember on Chinese New Year’s eve, we would all help prepare the dishes for the dinner. Every dish and its ingredients had a meaning of its own.

A steamed fish would definitely be present at every table and it would be called 年年有余(Nian Nian You Yu) which means “Ever year has leftovers”. It means every year’s blessing will be overflowing! Yu is very similar to another Chinese word 鱼  which means fish.

The fish would be steamed in order to keep its natural fresh flavour, with shallots, ginger, soy sauce and ounce of hot oil poured on top to enhance the aroma. I can imagine the smell of the dish as I type this down. Hmmm.

For the Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia, We also have a dish called ‘ yee sang (Cantonese)’ which  is a type of salad that is tossed during Chinese New Year. Tossed with family, friends and colleagues, it signifies abundance and prosperity. Usually, it contains fish, a variation of vegetables and different sauces which is then mixed well using chopsticks.The belief is that the higher you toss the Yee Sang, the better your future will be. Just like the video in below.

(Turn your volume down before playing this video)

Have you already tossed Yee Sang this year? If you would like to know the recipe of making Yee Sang, please click here.

Red pockets in Chinese is called 红包 (Hong Bao) is when married couples give out their blessings in form of money placed in a red envelope. This time is the best time to increase our pocket money and we respond by saying a blessing when we receive our red pocket such as:

恭喜发财 (Gong Xi Fa Cai) means ‘Bless you with financial providence’.

身体健康 (Shen Ti Jian Kang) means ‘Bless you with health and prosperity’.

万事如意 (Wan Shi Ru Yi) means ‘Bless you with a million favours’.

Better start learning these phrases if you want your pocket money this year!

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