It wasn’t until our first Chinese New Year party last year that I learned really how much the holiday is truly steeped in tradition. We certainly have some of our own traditions when it comes to our New Year’s Day celebration, but not to this extent.
The red lanterns, the long list of things to do to avoid bad luck, what you should do to encourage good luck, which foods will bring what type of luck and good fortune your way, and even the amount of money that you put in the traditional money envelopes is very important. I find it all fascinating.
Just like last year, I used Chinese newspapers to line the dining room table, and we all had fun trying to use the chopsticks. Nicholas, although hesitant to try them at first, actually ended up using them throughout the entire meal and had a blast.
Steamed dumplings, Shrimp and Lobster Fried Rice, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Almond Cookies, Fried Scallops, Scallion Pancakes, Shrimp Toast, Cold Sesame Noodles, Fried Chicken Wings, Wonton Soup … quite the feast. The restaurant added some sort of glazed chicken wings too, as a nice surprise, and they must have been good, ’cause they’re all gone. The Husband and chicken wings = dangerous combination.
I always ask for extra sauce packets when we order (if you don’t, there’s never enough hot mustard!), and this time, they included packets of ketchup with the stash. The first time I’ve ever seen ketchup at a Chinese restaurant – what the heck are people putting it on?…