Last Saturday, Feb. 9, my family and I gathered to welcome lunar new year, the year of snake (a zodiac of both my dad and hubby) which is extra special. The eve of Chinese New Year is all about family gathering and feasting on a table of delicious food like Thanksgiving in America (dishes vary from region to region in China). Then, during midnight, people would go to the temple to worship, pray, and ask about their fortunes.
A few years ago, I went during midnight to the temple nearby my parent’s house, not knowing it would be packed with people (like Black Friday). It was impossible to move around, at the same time, trying to avoid getting burn from the incense in people’s hands. It was impossible to see where the statues were. It was impossible to find a spot to stick in incense without getting burn. Gladly, I came out in one piece but my shirt wasn’t as fortunate as it had 3 burned holes.
Ever since, I decided to go on the new year’s eve. It was much more peaceful. And I had Buddha’s full attention for a 1-on-1 talk.
Kumquat plant from my garden which I had since last summer. Abundance of kumquat is a fortunate sign in Chinese culture.
Every year, including this, my dad made a big pot of delicate “buddha jump wall” (a literal translation of the dish’s name…hahaha). The dish has abalone, shark fin, sea cucumber, fish stomach, and mushroom. My dad put in numerous hours of hard work into making it. In our family, only he knows how to prepare abalone and shark fin. So we leave the soup up to him as well. He makes the best shark fin and crab soup! These two dishes were the highlight of the eve’s dinner. And only Chinese from Canton province would have these dishes.
Chicken, fish, and vegetables are the norm which most Chinese families would have.
Happy Chinese New Year!!! Wish everyone a prosperous and healthy snake year!