CHINESE NEW YEAR 农历 新年 (Nongli Xinnian), REARS ITS HEAD FROM FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16th 2018 UNTIL FEBRUARY 4th 2019 FOR THE HAPPINESS OF ONE BILLION AND SIX HUNDRED MILLION CHINESE PEOPLE AND ME!
You should also know that the Chinese New Year is not the same date every year because it depends on the lunar cycle.
Called the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival 春节 (Chunjie).
This is the most important festival for Asian communities in the world that spans 2 weeks, from the new moon until the full moon, called “the Lantern festival”.
During these festivities, Chinese people, for the most part, go on holidays and it is true that the economy is thundering. After a year of hard work, this is a time when Chinese people are happy to make all different kinds of purchases. They also exchange wishes of happiness, prosperity and success.
The most used expression in Chinese to say “Happy New Year” is 新年 好 (xīn nián hǎo) I know it is not easy, but if you meet someone who is Chinese, they will be happy and to impress them, take a look at this little list that I’ve prepared for you.
GO AHEAD! AND GO ONTO “GOOGLE TRANSLATION” FOR PRONUNCIATION HELP, IT’S VERY GOOD!
过年 好 (guò nián hǎo) – (Have a) Happy New Year.
吉星高照 (jí xīng gāo zhào) – Be blessed by a lucky star
恭喜 发财 (ɡōnɡ xǐ fā cái) – Happiness and prosperity.
阖家 幸福 (hé jiā xìng fú) – Happiness for the whole family.
The Chinese New Year also corresponds each year to a Chinese astrological sign. This year, it is the dog (狗, gǒu). It is the 11th animal of the zodiac cycle which is the equivalent of our astrological signs such as the fish, the bull, etc. The dog is sensitive, reliable and trustworthy. It is said to get on very well with the signs of the horse, tiger, and so on.
So, if you were born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or 2018, your zodiac animal is the dog.
In China, it is common for those born in year of the dog to wear something red since it is their year, for example a string or bracelet for a year in order to keep the small, everyday worries at bay.
During the New Year, they eat fish (for abundance), duck or chicken (for luck) and ravioli (for longevity).
The fifteenth day is called “the Day of the Lanterns” or “the Festival of Lights”. It marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.
The Chinese parade through the streets at nightfall carrying a lantern, and paper dragons crisscross the streets under these lanterns, dancing in the midst of firecrackers to drive away evil spirits.
It truly is a beautiful sight to see.
But when there’s a party, there’s always a cake!
So come on, let’s try a simple Chinese New Year cake recipe called the NIAN GAO.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
– 500g glutinous rice flour
– 100g butter or vegetable oil
– 3 eggs
– ½ litre whole or coconut milk
– 200g sugar
– 15g yeast
– 400g azuki red beans
– 200g candied fruits
To start: pre-heat your oven to 180°C so it will be ready when you have finished preparing the cake.
1- Put the flour, melted butter, 3 eggs, sugar, milk, candied fruits in small pieces and yeast into a small container (and if you are feeling a little greedy, add a sachet of vanilla sugar, it’s great).
2- Mix everything with an electric mixer on medium speed for at least 2-3 minutes.
3- Oil a large round baking tin with a paper towel.
4- Spread half of your mix in the tin.
5- “Sow” the red beans by pressing them into the mix
6- Spread the other half on top of the mix.
7- Place the tin at the bottom of the oven for 40-50 minutes. To see if it is cooked, pierce a knife into your cake. If it is clean, the cake is ready!