A new year is time for a new start. In the Western world, we celebrate this fresh start in January, but in Chinese and Korean culture, the Lunar New Year is celebrated for the fist 15 days of the lunar calendar. This year, Chinese New Year begins today, February 16th and will continue until the lantern festival on March 2nd. It is the Year of the Dog.
Each day of the Chinese New Year has certain activities and traditions that are celebrated. Some of these include:
- Clean Your Home- this tradition comes from the belief that cleaning your home will sweep away the bad luck and prepare the home for good luck to enter. You must be careful, though. If you clean after the New Year has started, you may be sweeping away the good luck you received.
- Decorations – Chinese New Year decorations are usually red. Red is a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture. Houses are often decorated with red lanterns, artwork, and paper cut-outs.
- Red Envelopes- it is common to give lucky red envelope of money to children throughout the New Year.
- Lucky Foods – Fish is just one of the lucky foods that should be served over Chinese New Year. Fish are a sign of prosperity. In fact, the Chinese character for prosperity, yu, is a homophone for the word for fish, yu. It’s said that the Chinese New Year fish dish is “nian nian you yu,” which means “may the year bring prosperity.” Traditionally, families buy a whole fish, which symbolizes unity, and it is steamed with ginger and soy sauce. The most important part is that there are leftovers for the next day, signifying that prosperity will overflow!
Want to celebrate Chinese New Year but find cooking whole fish too daunting? Try this easy recipe for Open Blue Cobia with black bean sauce!
- 1 lb Open Blue Cobia
- 1 Egg
- ½ C Cornstarch
- 3-4 tbsp Black Bean Sauce
- 1 each, Green and Red Peppers, chopped
- ½ c Onions, chopped
- 4 Green Onions
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 inch piece of minced peeled fresh Ginger
Cut cobia into pieces, mix with egg, cornstarch and water, then deep fry. Heat up some oil in a pan and fry the stir fry ingredients for 2-3 mins. Stir in black bean sauce and mix together with the cobia. Suggested to serve with rice. Serves 4.