Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

Happy New Year!

I've blogged for all these years (since 2006!) without making much mention of Lunar New Year, a holiday that is near and dear to me because it's like my parents' version of Christmas.

On December 31, 2010, I went to have New Year's Eve dinner (sort of... it was my third dinner that night) with "The Ukranian"'s family, and they had a small rabbit figurine on the table.  They told me it was because it was going to be the year of the rabbit.

Why, yes it is.  I guess we have more in common than I thought.

Anyway, not only do I love Lunar New Year because my parents are in a good mood, but check out some of the holiday's associated food (pics taken throughout the years saved on my computer... not sure who took them... so photo credit to my family!):

And these photos I took this year:

Above: "Joong" (aka, zhong xi), which are basically Asian tamales wrapped in banana leaves.  According to Chinese folklore (of which I'm giving a very short version), these originated from people trying to feed rice to a spirit that resided in the ocean.  Wrapping the rice kept the fish from eating it. :P

Inside these "joongs" goes things such as sticky rice, mung beans, lotus seeds, meats cooked with five-spice powder, Chinese sausage, mushrooms, and salty egg yolks!  They get boiled for about 6 hours before they are fully cooked.  They are dense and rich but delicious!!

NOTE: Yes, they do make vegetarian versions of these, but if my parents have to go through 6 hours of this, I am obliged to eat them.  I don't end up eating much (due to richness), but this is one of those exceptions I make for the sake of tradition.

We usually take fun pictures around the house with the decorations.  These are some shots from previous years (like ~5 years ago... I'm getting old!).  Note the sister on the left is now my height (or more!).

Above: The night before (Lunar New Year eve, so to speak), there's something called a "reunion dinner."  Basically, this is the most important dinner of the year, and missing it is worse than not being there for Christmas or Thanskgiving.  Here's some of the bounty here.  And then the next day, you're not really supposed to eat any meat at all.

Above: Lion/dragon dancers at a temple.  We usually visit some and plug incensce into drums for good luck during the year.  They usually serve vegetarian food like noodles with veggies (greasy, though!).

I wish you all a great year... much health, wealth, and rabbit-like speed!!


Good luck to those running the Surf City Half-Marathon this weekend!  I've done this race a few times and think it's one of the best in So Cal!  I'm planning on working at Volunteer check-in Saturday PM, so if you happen to be there at the time, come by and say hi!


  1. Looks like a delicious spread! Does your family want to invite me over to celebrate? :)

  2. Happy new year! That food looks amazing!

  3. Getting old is only in our mind.
    Age never prevented people from doing things:

  4. The food looks delicious! Thank you for sharing some of your family's traditions with us. It looks like a fun time. Very fun. And way to go on your silver note. It's pretty cool that you've done so many races.

  5. Wow! At first I was like..what are those big wrapped up green things??! What a special tradition :)
    Happy New Year!

  6. so yummy! happy new year to you and your family!!!