I find a fun way to become a little familiar with other cultures is to share in their significant celebrations. Did you know this year’s Chinese New Year 2015 celebration begins on February 19th and will usher in the Year of the Goat?
What is Chinese New Year?
- Chinese New Year is the longest and most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.
- The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions.
- Because the Chinese are closely associated with agriculture, the celebration is known as the “Spring Festival” in China to welcome the spring season which is a good time to harvest and end the winter season.
Did you know?
The Chinese zodiac follows a 12-year cycle, each of the years being named after an animal.
According to the Chinese calendar, 2015 is the Year of the Goat. The Chinese believe that people born in a particular year take on the characteristics of the animal associated with that year.
The Goat comes 8th in the Chinese zodiac. The 12 zodiac animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
According to Chinese astrology, each year (starting from Chinese New Year) is associated with an animal sign, occurring in a 12-year cycle. For example 2015 is a year of the Goat.
- Lucky Colors: brown, red, purple
- Lucky Numbers: 2, 7
- Lucky Flowers: carnation, primrose
- Year of Birth: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
If you were born in the year of the goat, this is likely you…
Infographic attribution: ChinaHighlights.com
The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the Reunion Dinner. The Reunion Dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year is like a magnet that draws all family members back home to reaffirm the love and respect that bind them. The feast that is held is always well prepared and sumptuous.
Food is an important part of the Chinese culture and a lot of significance is assigned to different foods for the New Year. Several foods are consumed to usher in wealth, happiness and good fortune.
With the Chinese New Year coming up on February 19th, Atlantic Superstore is once again highlighting its T&T and Rooster brand Asian products and fresh produce to help us celebrate the Year of the Goat!
For the past few years we have celebrated the beginning of the Chinese New Year by making a Chinese feast for dinner. This year I am making these yummy Lion’s Head Meatballs with Shanghai Bok Choy!
- 450g PC Free From Lean Ground Pork
- 100g ground pork belly
- ½ tsp (2 ml) kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) water
- 1 cup (250ml) finely chopped T&T Water Chestnuts (canned, drained)
- ⅓ c finely chopped green onion
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp (15ml) Chinese Shaoh-Tsing rice wine
- 1 Tbsp (15ml) cornstarch
- 1 tsp (5ml) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50ml) cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) safflower oil
- 1 cup (250ml) chicken broth
- 1 slice peeled ginger ( 2 inches by ⅛ inch thick)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 lb (500g) Shanghai Bok choy, each halved lengthwise and rinsed clean
- 1 Tbsp (15ml) toasted sesame oil
- Combine lean ground pork, pork belly and salt. Mix in water until absorbed by pork with hands.
- Stir together in small bowl soy sauce, wine, 1 Tbsp cornstarch and brown sugar. Mix into meat mixture for two minutes, until well absorbed.
- Form into 8 meatballs - approximately 91g each; place on parchment lined pan, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes up to one hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160C)
- Coat meatballs lightly with cornstarch, discarding leftover starch.
- Heat oil in wok or large frying pan on medium-high heat.
- Brown meatballs on all sides in two batches, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate.
- Wipe out same wok or pan with paper towel. Add chicken broth and ginger. Bring to boil.
- Return meatballs to hot broth and simmer two minutes.
- Transfer contents of wok to 1L deep baking dish; cover with tightly wrapped foil and bake in centre oven two hours.
- Remove meatballs to bowl to hold warmth, cover with foil. Pour broth from baking dish into a small saucepan. Mix remaining 1 tsp. cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. wate, whisk into broth and bring to boil on medium-high heat. cook, whisking until sauce thickens, about two minutes. Pour over meatballs.
- Meanwhile add sesame oil to large pot of boiling salted water. BNlanche Bok Choy in batches, 20 seconds per batch. Remove with slotted spoon or wire strainer to plate.
- Serve Bok Choy with meatballs and sauce.
How do you usually celebrate the Chinese New Year?
Infographic attribution: ChinaHighlights.com