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Lunar New Year! Tell me more about the traditions?


#1

https://blog.trazy.com/seollal-lunar-new-years-korea/

I found this blog but I really don’t know much about the Lunar New Year! Can anyone tell me more???new%20year%201

Year of the Ox

Happy New Year!


Traditions -- old and new -- that you celebrate
#2

新年快乐!!

Most Asian countries celebrate it, but each one will have different traditions for the Lunar New Year. One thing in common for all is it’s one of the most important festivities in our calendar.

Asians follow the Lunisolar Calendar (based on the moon and sun movements. Jewish people also follow a Lunisolar cal.) and not the Gregorian calendar (sun movements) for New Year, though they adopted the Gregorian calendar for everyday life (12 months, 365-366 days, same days).

It depends on Asian countries, so the traditions I got to know were these ones:

We normally celebrate it for 3 days, but some people and students have holidays for 9 days or for some countries, it lasts for 15 days.

In the street, they put decorations (ox statue, lanterns…) and many flower shops put special flowers for New Year outside their shops. The streets are really pretty and lively with a wonderful fragrance in the air at this period of the year. If you can travel in Asia, I think this period is the most joyful and colorful.

People are also really busy to prepare before the New Year comes. Sometimes, we prepare 2-3 weeks before because it is really important for us to avoid any mishap. If we miss this, it means that all the year won’t be auspicious for us.

The preparations are:

  • Decorations!

It’s the period of the year where many Asian supermarkets and Asian local shops are taken by storm :hugs:
We buy these special flowers for New Year and put them in the prettiest vases we got at home. On their branches, we decorate with red envelopes that we also buy at that time of the year. Normally, each year they release red envelopes decorated with the Chinese zodiac of the year. Last year, it was red envelopes with a rat drawing. This year, it is an ox design! We can decide to let these envelopes empty or put inside a coin. We also add some ox signs.

Next to it, we buy many fruits and Asian traditional candies that we decorate around these flowers.

  • Banquet!
    We love Asian cuisine. For this moment of the year, we prepare many special dishes that we normally eat just for New Year. It’s like what the turkey is for Thanksgiving.
    If you don’t eat these special dishes, it doesn’t feel like New Year.
    We can buy them, but homemade cooking is what most Asian families prefer.
    For this year, 2 weeks before New Year, my mom and my aunt prepared special New Year salty cakes for 3 days and cooked them in the garden in a big pot under a fire they made on the grass with firewood. It is really long to prepare and really tiring because you keep an eye on the cooking and got to wake up in the middle of the night, plus it is so cold outside (snowing!). That is why it is understandable that people want to buy these New Year cakes instead of preparing them. You prepare them and you gift them to uncles, aunts, grandparents, friends…
    These cakes are considered valuable gifts for New Year and we love gifting homemade food.

In addition to these traditional salty cakes, there is soup. My favorite is soup.
My grandma normally makes noodles, because noodles are long = longevity!

Then there are many side dishes prepared.
Noodles, soup, meat, vegetarian dishes are prepared 2-3 days before New Year.
Side dishes like marinated veggies can be prepared weeks or months before or just during the week of New Year, because their conservation is pretty good.

Preparing Asian dishes are really long. For the soup, 2-3 hours. Around the same for the caramelised meat.

For dessert, sugary Asian cakes or fruits.

But other countries have their own special dishes for New Year!

  • Cleaning!
    If the house is dirty, it is no good to welcome New Year. It means it will be dirty all the year.
    So you clean everything 1-2 days before New Year.

The D-Day!

  • I don’t know for other countries, but we can’t spend money on that day, except if it is an emergency.
    It means we will spend all the year otherwise.
  • We can’t clean on that day or we will clean all the year, except for dishes. But a dishwasher is welcome :slight_smile:
  • We can’t break anything, it is bad omen.
  • Most people take holidays that day in Asia, because if you have an accident or your boss yells at you this day, it means that… restaurants and shops are closed and each one is celebrating at home, not someone else’s home.
  • The first person to enter through the door is really important. Normally it is someone from the house and who will have good luck this year (this year, someone who has an ox sign or people read carefully fortune telling to know which sign has good luck). My mom told me that a friend of her refused to open the door to some people on that day.
    Normally, on that day, no one is moving out of the house, except to go to the pagoda for Buddhist people. There, the pagoda also decorated for New Year, people pray for their ancestors, pray for the New Year to be auspicious, give money to the pagoda, eat vegetarian dishes from the pagoda and receive a red enveloppe with a coin + sometimes inside it also has a fortune telling paper for the year.
  • Eating: we eat a lot and drink on that day. Nice plates, a nice set of silverware or porcelain.

Days after:

  • we can spend money, clean…
  • we can visit family and wish them happy new year.
  • we give and receive red envelopes to family.
    Inside, we offer money.
    In Asia, family is not parents, brothers and sisters only. It means cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents from both parents side… So it could be really expensive :sweat_smile:
  • in China, they end the festivities with a Lantern festival.

#3

This is part of the dishes I ate:

This one is homemade by my aunt, but I can’t eat it. It has pork ears mixed and cooked.

This one is bamboo soup (2-3 hours to make it).
My brother also made it for his son for the first time just the day before New Year. He called my mother in emergency and she was stressing him out that he had to finish before midnight, because we can’t cook on New Year’s day or he will cook all the year.

This one is marinated veggie sidedish with vinegar, sugar and salt.

This one is a marinated veggie sidedish with carrots, white radish, papaya, red pepper, salt and fish sauce made this week. It is not spicy because red peppers were not crushed, but Asians love to eat spicy.
This one was really delicious and crunchy. I couldn’t stop eating them.


#4

Thank you! So MUCH! U really did such a wonderful job explaining and thank you so much for taking the time to do that for me! Happy New Year to you and your family! Many blessings throughout the year!


#5

Looks delicious! I want to visit over there soon!


#6

Happy New Year with a lot of blessings to your family and you :slight_smile:


#7

What wonderful traditions! I am a Southern Girl so we have to eat Pork (like ham for progress), Collard Greens (green for wealth) Black Eyed peas (for Luck) and cornbread (golden opportunities) for New Year’s on the 1st. Many Southerners also have the clean house tradition and the first visitor. I love traditions so much fun. Maybe I’ll try some of your traditions next year.


#8

Share some recipes if you can!
What other traditions do you have in the South?


#9




#10

We Southerners are ALL about the food. I think that is the best way to show someone you love them. If I go to someone’s house I always try to take a dessert or something. Or a little gift. We like to make plates up for family members, kind of a way to show love. Thank you notes! We hold the door for EVERYBODY. We say hello to EVERYBODY. I wave (we call it the farmer’s wave) when you drive by in your car in your neighborhood. We let people cut in line in front of us. We like to welcome new neighbors with food. Good handshake (which you can’t do now because of the virus) I SMILE at everybody, which is killing me wearing these darn masks. Sunday Supper after church. Being punctual and RSVPing to things. We like eye contact. Kind of an Open Door Policy and let people know you are here for them if they need you. Taking casseroles to the sick. Very Loyal. And watch out cuz I’ll hug ya!


#11

:joy::joy::joy: Food is a valuable gift, especially homemade!
What is Sunday Supper after church?
I’ve been to Louisiana, Texas and Florida and Louisiana seems to fit :smile:

So Southerners cut lines?!

Collard greens for me, gotta try :ok_hand: :grinning:


#12

Not really cut in line, rephrase that I guess, I like to let people go ahead of me as a curtesy if warranted. :rofl:

So usually after church you have family over or friends for supper. Like A BIG meal with everything like pot roast, potatoes, bread, side dishes, dessert etc. I usually cook in the slow cooker. We love bbque too. So we smoke stuff on our smoker a lot. Collards are good if you do them right!


#13

That’s a nice tradition! Every Sunday, it is a lot of cooking and many mouths to satiate :stuck_out_tongue: You must cook pretty fast!
BBQ is so cool, it reminds me of holidays, because it is only possible in Spring-Summer for us, the rest of the year is too cold or rainy!


#14

I was just thinking we decorate for just about every holiday. So we are not that dis-similar to your traditions. I tend to like Vietnamese, Korean and Thai food which I know is probably not “true” to the culture. I would love to learn some of your dishes. Any recipes?


#15

I’m not a fan of spending long hours in the kitchen like my mom, so I don’t like long and difficult recipes :rofl:
I can only suggest easy and fast recipes!

In most recipes I know from my mom, they use for the seasoning: oyster sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, chicken broth, fish sauce, Maggie sauce, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, salt, sugar and pepper.
It’s the ingredients most Asian families have in their kitchen.
For Koreans, it would be gochujang :smiley:
For Indians, it would be curry powder or garam masala? :smile:
We like to have “leaves”, lettuce, salad, aromatics such as mint leaves, Thaï/Chinese basil, shiso leaves and chili pepper to accompany soups, BBQ, rolls or anything.

  • Vegetables stir fry dish:

This dish is similar in many Asian countries (Thaï, Chinese, Vietnamese).
They add different veggies. You can add any firm veggies you’d like.

We usually stir fry firm veggies like onions, garlic, zucchinis, carrots, green beans and pepper bells like any stir fry dish. Asian cooks add oyster sauce, salt, sugar and pepper (+optional: cornstarch to thicken the sauce).

We plate and dress with coriander on top.
It’s really easy, the longest thing to do is washing and cutting veggies.

Ex with the quantities:

  • Thaï Cucumber salad! I love this salad!

You just cut your cucumber and garlic, you make the sauce and you marinate the cucumber slices.

The fish sauce is used in many Asian countries for sauce. It’s used to eat with Asian rolls.
There are different variants of this sauce.
The one I make doesn’t use vinegar but lemon juice, water and sugar.
The spicy taste is really good, the smell of fish could be awful for some people though. If you don’t like spicy or it’s for children, make 2 bowls, one you add the chili pepper, the other you don’t.

We don’t like chili pepper flakes, it is tasteless compared to the real chili pepper.
Most Asians will freeze chili peppers or harvest them in their garden.

  • Spring rolls:

It’s really easy if you have a lot of people coming. Each person will do his own roll and it’s fun for children.
You don’t have to get meat, you can put steam cooked fish or try with shrimps.
You can get creative and add fruits slices like pineapple, green apples…
Or just add anything you would like.

  • For Korean dish, I have a tiny experience. I’m a huge fan of their soups, like kimchijjigae. I can’t resist ordering it each time I visit a Korean restaurant that has it in its menu. But I guess it will take too much time to prepare, so I have not found the courage yet to look at a kimchijjigae recipe video.
    But Bibimbap seems the easiest to do and I heard that japchae wasn’t difficult.

Most Asian food has veggies or soup to accompany so it has a touch of freshness for the body.
I find that main dishes and soups are more salty than Western cuisine, so I think accompanying with a bowl of rice, lettuce or leaves could balance things.
Desserts are really sweet (coconut…), so we balance things with tea.

For Asian tourists, when they come in Western countries, it could be really difficult to eat Western dishes for them. I remember my cousin, she brought packs of ramen, Korean ramyun to eat at her school dormitory :rofl:

If you could try a fruit for dessert, I would suggest durian. The taste and the smell are really special, so don’t buy a full fruit, buy only a tiny portion if you can get the occasion, a really tiny portion.


#16

So generally where are you? This food looks so YUMMY! I have wanted to know how to make Spring Rolls. Thank you so much! I will definitely try all of these! I have fish sauce and a lot of the ingredients because I make Asian dishes a lot.


#17

FELIZ AÑO NUEVO LUNAR PARA TODOS, LES DESEO MUCHA SALUD Y AMOR. SOY DE ARGENTINA, POR ESO NO SE FESTEJA. SOLO FESTEJAMOS EL AÑO NUEVO TODOS LOS 31 DE DICIEMBRE. ADEMAS DE NAVIDAD, FECHAS PATRIAS Y LOS QUE PROFESAN LA RELIGION CATOLICA SEMANA SANTA Y PASCUAS. TAMBIEN FESTEJAMOS EN OCTUBRE EL DIA DE LA MADRE, EN JUNIO EL DIA DEL PADRE, EN AGOSTO EL DIA DEL NIÑO. TODOS LOS 20 DE JULIO EL DIA DEL AMIGO. NUESTRAS TRADICIONES TAMBIEN VAN DESDE LA COMIDA HASTA FESTIVALES DE VERANO. DANZA, MÚSICA Y CANTO. NUESTRAS COMIDAS TÍPICAS SON EL LOCRO, QUE ES COMO UNA SOPA HECHA DE ZAPALLO, POROTO, MONDOGO, CARNE, CHOCLO ALGUNOS SON MUY PICANTE, A MI ESTA COMIDA NO ME GUSTA. TAMBIÉN LAS EMPANADAS, SON CON LOS DUPLING PERO MAS GRANDE LAS TRADICIONALES ESTAN HECHAS DE CARNE, PAPA, PASA DE UVA, HUEVO, CEBOLLA, CEBOLLA DE VERDEO. CADA PROVINIA DE ARGENTINA TIENE SU FORMA DE HACER LAS EMPANADAS Y DERIVADOS COMO LAS EMPANADAS DE POLLO, JAMON Y QUESO, VERDURA Y ATÚN, ESTAS ULTIMAS SE CONOCEN COMO EMPANADAS DE VIGILIA Y SE COMEN CASI SIEMPRE PARA EL VIERNES SANTO. EL DULCE DE LECHE, LOS ALFAJORES Y EL MATE ES LO MAS TIPICO EN ARGENTINA. ES UNA TRADICION TOMAR MATE EN FAMILIA, CON AMIGOS Y SOLO. EL MATE ES UNA INFUSION CON AGUA Y YERBA SIGNIFICA AMISTAD. ESTAS SON ALGUNAS DE LAS TRADICIONES DE MI PAIS, EN OTRO POST PUEDO EXPLIACARLE CON MAS DETALLE. LES GUSTARIA CONOCER DE ALGO MAS DE MI PAIS?.. YO SI QUISIERA SABER UN POCO MAS DEL TUYO.:kissing_heart:


#18

Translation

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR EVERYONE, I WISH YOU GREAT HEALTH AND LOVE. I AM FROM ARGENTINA, THAT’S WHY IT IS NOT CELEBRATED. WE ONLY CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR EVERY DECEMBER 31ST. IN ADDITION TO CHRISTMAS, NATIONAL DATES AND THOSE WHO PROFESS THE CATHOLIC RELIGION HOLY WEEK AND EASTER. WE ALSO CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY IN OCTOBER, FATHER’S DAY IN JUNE, CHILDREN’S DAY IN AUGUST. EVERY JULY 20 ON FRIEND’S DAY. OUR TRADITIONS ALSO GO FROM FOOD TO SUMMER FESTIVALS. DANCE, MUSIC AND SONG. OUR TYPICAL FOODS ARE EL LOCRO, WHICH IS LIKE A SOUP MADE OF ZAPALLO, BEANS, MONDOGO, MEAT, CHOCLO SOME ARE VERY SPICY, I DO NOT LIKE THIS FOOD. ALSO THE EMPANADAS, ARE WITH THE DUPLINGS BUT BIGGER THE TRADITIONAL ARE MADE OF MEAT, POTATO, RAISIN, EGG, ONION, GREEN ONION. EACH PROVINIA OF ARGENTINA HAS ITS WAY OF MAKING THE EMPANADAS AND DERIVATIVES SUCH AS THE CHICKEN, HAM AND CHEESE, VEGETABLE AND TUNA EMPANADAS. THE DULCE DE LECHE, THE ALFAJORES AND THE MATE IS THE MOST TYPICAL IN ARGENTINA. IT IS A TRADITION TO TAKE MATE IN THE FAMILY, WITH FRIENDS AND ALONE. MATE IS AN INFUSION WITH WATER AND YERBA MEANS FRIENDSHIP. THESE ARE SOME OF THE TRADITIONS OF MY COUNTRY, IN ANOTHER POST I CAN EXPLAIN YOU IN MORE DETAIL. WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW SOMETHING MORE ABOUT MY COUNTRY? … I DO WANT TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOURS.


#19

Yes, I would always like to hear about other traditions and recipes. I lived in the SouthWest and I cook a lot with Green Chile and make a lot of New Mexican dishes and Navajo dishes.


#20

Oh, then no need to look for more sauces :smiley:
I am in France :hugs: I enjoy both cuisines. My French favorites are cheese (especially smelly ones), saucisson, foie gras and French pastries.
In France, there is an Asian district with Asian restaurants and supermarkets where they have a Chinese Dragon dance for New Year.