Chinese culture, and the Lunar New Year, are filled with symbolism. The 12-animal astrology cycle points out the qualities of both the year, and those who are born that year. Even the food that is eaten on New Years is strongly symbolic. So, cut some cherry blossoms, and decorate your table with pomelos, oranges, tangerines, and red money envelopes for good fortune.
The Year of the Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline are necessary to achieve goals. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will have enough to eat.
A wonderful thing about the Lunar New Year is the festivities go on for weeks. The Bay Area is rich with Asian culture, so we still have two weeks of events. Here are three favorites.
February 16th | 12 to 4 PM
This is a more intimate, neighborhood celebration that includes: traditional candy given-away at participating merchant shops, Martial Arts Demonstration by Concord Kung Fu Academy, Dragon & Lion Dance by Kei Lun Martial Arts, and Merchant Store Blessings by the Lion Procession.
Sunday, February 17 | 12 to 4:30 PM
Treat the family and discover the diversity of Asian New Year traditions including a spectacular lion dance, Japanese mochi pounding, Malaysian 24 Seasons drum performance, Red Panda Acrobats, Martial Arts, Chinese yo-yo demonstrations, tai chi, The Magic of Jade Show, Balinese dancers, and Ikebana flower arrangements. Learn the viral dance hit "Gangnam Style" and more.
Saturday,February 23, 2013 | 5:15 to 8 PM
This is the blow-out parade for those who love excitement. Nowhere in the world will you see a lunar new year parade with more gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions, exploding firecrackers, and of course the newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. and her court. The 268-foot Golden Dragon takes a team of over 100 men and women to carry it throughout the streets of San Francisco.
Shitake Mushrooms are plentiful this time of year in at Piedmont Grocery. They hold a special place in the culinary traditions of Asia, and our dinner tables. According to Chinese legend, shitake mushrooms are symbolic of growing fortunes. This makes them a key ingredient in New Years dishes.
Their rich, earthy flavor and delicate texture complement makes them one of the most cultivated and delicious edible mushrooms. We eat them in recipes that range from stir-fry to risotto to pizza. We love these exotic mushrooms for their distinctive taste, but they have a long list of health benefits that can't' be ignored. Read More...
You can see and taste the difference.
Just Desserts makes cakes from the same premium-quality ingredients you would find in your own kitchen. The results are beautifully hand-decorated, exceptional tasting treats that are perfect for a special occasion-like Valentines Day.
Their varieties include classic cakes, bunts, bites, single servings, and the ever transportable cupcake. Read More...
Symbolic Ingredients for Chinese New Year
New Year's festivities include sumptuous meals, symbolizing thanksgiving and family unity. Feasts are designed around meaning-laden foods to ensure auspicious blessings for the coming year based on the Chinese belief that "you are what you eat."
If you choose to serve a stir-fry, be sure to feature one or more of the following ingredients:
Shrimp for happiness and laughter
Eggs for fertility
Mushrooms for growing fortunes
Lettuce for prosperity and wealth
Chicken for a proper beginning and end
Scallions for intelligence
Clams and scallops for prosperity
Noodles for longevity
Lobster for auspicious symbol of the dragon
Fish for abundance and surplus
Cilantro for compassion
Pork for bounty and family unit
Five-spice tofu for happiness
Oysters for good business
Hard liquor for longevity