Showing posts from March, 2010

CNY Flashback: Chinese New Year Delicacies

Food! There would be plenty of that not just for the living but also for the Gods during Chinese New Year! (inset). Prior to the big day, not only are cookies and cakes baked but Chinese New Year must like the oranges and the sweet glutinous cake called nien kao are bought and stored. The oranges are auspicous as they bear the name kam as in gold and the glutinous nien kao are not just deliciously sweet but when they are fresh, they are sticky; and when offered to the Kitchen God, his mouth would be sealed and he would only have sweet words when he presents his report on the family to the Jade Emperor on Chinese New Year Day! So useful are food during Chinese New Year!

Which would you like to take a bite of? The sweet nien kao or the sweet oranges?

CNY Flashback: Shopping for New Clothes

Prior to Chinese New Year, there will also be a lot of shopping to do. Of course, everyone would be looking for new clothes and lots of foodstuff among other things. I remember one Chinese New Year when Eng Lai and I went shopping in Tesco, Taiping. There were some pants which attracted me since they seemed to be rather cheap - the huge sign there stated that it was just RM 15 per pant. I bought two but they added up to cost more than RM 30. Well, that was because the small print on the other side of the sign gave the actual price - that goes to say that one has to be careful when shopping!

Look at the fine print!

CNY Flashback: Signs of Chinese New Year

You may not be a Chinese but you'd not miss Chinese New Year in Malaysia. Prior to the big occassion, you'd hear evergreen Chinese New Year songs being belted out not just in Chinese homes but in public places as well such as in shopping malls and complexes. The shopping malls and complexes normally would be adorned with Chinese New Year decorations. We are not just talking about Chinese lanterns being hung here but the whole place would be splashed in red with all sorts of paper decorations. An old tale has it that there was once a cruel and ferocious beast called Nien in China which ate people on New Year's Eve but this creature was afraid of the colour red. Red today symbolizes good fortune and joy and befits the occasion for Chinese New Year. Nien had gone for good. In ancient times, when the New Year approached, villagers would hung red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. They would also light firecrackers too, to frighten Nien away. But then thanks …