Tomorrow is the eve of the Lunar New Year.
Wherever you are in the world, you can enjoy the light of the moon. There are songs and poems written about the moon. That reminds me, I must get around to looking for the book Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins, about his fight to the moon. Anyway, for now I have to stay grounded and finish this article.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated in several countries in Asia, just as the solar new year is celebrated in several other countries in Asia. I was told that in the Philippines it’s a custom to wear garments with polka-dots for the Lunar New Year. I am not sure if it’s because the moon is round or if the polka-dots represent coins (money and wealth), or perhaps both.
Whether celebrations are around the moon or the sun, one thing is for sure – celebrations are for giving thanks and for family reunions.
Being invited by friends from a different culture to their home to join their festivals is a chance to appreciate the richness of the human family. The home is where hospitality began, where guests were welcomed with food, shelter and safety.
My friend Judy and her husband John have the custom of having a steam boat dinner for Christmas in England. It always makes me smile when I see the photos of her extended family at their Christmas steamboat dinner.
A typical steamboat Family Reunion Dinner looks like this.
Friends have been sending photos of their Lunar New Year preparations, starting with Jo-Ann in Hong Kong, who baked the most creative cookies. They are definitely pieces of edible art.
Anne Lise, who is a university student in London, shared photos of the reunion feast she cooked. It’s amazing that she managed to get all the ingredients for a traditional Chinese New Year dinner.
Cordelia sent photos of the kuih bangkit she made for eating and gifting. Justin, her husband, used to help his grandmother make Chinese New Year cookies. Cordelia and Justin started to make kuih bangkit last year. It was a nice way of remembering Grandma. (Cordelia referred to a recipe from nonya.cooking.com)
Apart from cookies, it is also customary to give flowers for the Lunar New Year. Our family doctor (and friend) said that the florist is not accepting orders for delivery, so he is the delivery boy! He and his wife always read my posts, so I will dedicate this post to them, Dr V and Khun Guek Nee.
Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year and a great week ahead.
By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 30 January 2022