Candies and Food Traditions – Wishing Everyone a Happy and Sweet Chinese (Lunar) New Year!

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To all those who celebrate, Happy Chinese New Year!  The day may be drawing to a close, but my festivities are only getting started!  I’m celebrating with family next weekend and I’m hoping to get a few fun Chinese food posts on the blog this week.  Chinese New Year has been low-key for me so far but I’ve definitely been enjoying some great food!  I’ve been munching on an egg tart, a pineapple bakery bun, a dried chive and shredded pork and bakery bun, a yummy vegetarian dish, and some very awesome roast pork!  Aside from the roast pork which I really only eat maybe twice a year, I do eat many of the others at all times of the year but you know how it is.  Everything just feels more celebratory and festive during a special occasion, so eating Chinese bakery buns and egg tarts this weekend made me feel extra warm and fuzzy inside.

Traditionally, a dinner with meat is eaten on new year’s eve (thus, yesterday) and a vegetarian one on new year’s day.  We had some fabulous roast pork last night and today, we had big dish of cellophane noodles (“fun see”) with snow peas, peppers, and mushrooms.  On vegetarian day, we often have the cellophane noodles with veggies or melon squash as well as a big dish with different types of beancurd (“jai”) including curry beancurd, sweet and sour bean curd, seaweed, and others which we always eat with steamed rice.  I wasn’t the biggest fan of the vegetarian dishes when I was little (bean curd just doesn’t sound appetizing to a child’s ears!), but I absolutely love it as an adult now and love that there are delicious Chinese vegetarian and vegan options. 

And we certainly can’t forget the special Chinese New Year’s candies!  My family and I have made going to the adorable candy buffets at the malls and markets into a tradition every year.  They look exactly like the ones I posted last year from Market Village and Pacific Mall and it’s so much fun because there’s always something new and different amidst the familiar candies that are brought back on a yearly basis.  Our little Chinese New Year candy bowl has marshmallows with fruit filling, colourful jelly candies, milk candies, and hard lychee candies among others.  I love the marshmallows and colourful jellies the most and having these candies in the house makes me feel like I just went out trick-or-treating!  I have fond memories of filling red pockets (which weren’t actually red, but were instead cute new year envelopes with Winnie the Pooh on them) with candies for my friends in high school, just for fun.  

All my best wishes for good health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity this year!  Gung Hay Fat Choi, Sun Leen Fai Lok!  

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