Bring in the New Year

This year Chinese Lunar calendar aligned first day of New Year (Year of Tiger) with Valentine’s Day (of Georgian solar calendar). It is a rarity. Significance of the year however varies, according to Chinese Astrology, as it depends upon one’s animal sign, natural element, dominant element, yin and yang, and companion in life, where the first four are determined by birth year, month, day and the 5th element is determined by time of birth. Throw western astrology into the mix, the reading can get overwhelmingly complicated. But as with Fengshui principles, I take the practical approach, let common sense, and convenience, rule. The goal, after all, is to try to enhance life with the knowledge not to encumber it, and there is always some enhancement or remedy to be found for every situation.

As usual, I celebrated Chinese New Year with enthusiasm and the New Year was received in a busy secession of festive events: attending the annual celebration by local Chinese Association, cooking an elaborate New Year’s Eve dinner in Cantonese Style for my family, joining friends for pot lucks, having Dim Sum while watching Dragon Dance and Lion Dance and to top it all, having annual Chinese New Year bash at our house.

Dragon Dancing at Dim Sum

Lions Dancing at Dim Sum

Party at our house

Snacks included red watermelon seeds, crispy cookies(fried dumplings with crushed peanuts and sugar ), candies and tangerines.

Dishes were arranged all over the kitchen counters. On the center island were Cantonese BBQ, General’s Chicken, Chinese sausage, Spicy fish with bamboo shoots, fried noodles, Golden Tofu, Eight-Treasure Veggie Plate, assorted pickles.

Crescent and Fan shape cookies decorated with Chinese character “福”(Happiness)made by Betty wowed the party.

My husband Jay(left), his friend Mike and Jane(Mike’s daughter)

Les, Betty and Jane

In the dinning room

More tables set up in sitting area on the east wing

The teen table

Diane, me, Caroline and Judy

Time for party favor: Every one picked a red bag with ticket inside indicating what the surprise favor was to be. Betty got the top prize this year: a Cloisonné vase. Here, I was explaining to Caroline about the jade ornament she got: a 八卦 图(Bagua Map).