Since January, I have written 19 posts about the Chinese New Year.
I have shared stories of the local people who celebrate the Lunar New Year as their culture.
I also delighted you with the story of the lion who came to tea with me.
Today, I’ll conclude the Chinese New Year series with this post about the Lantern Festival, on the 14th of February.
Chinese New Year lasts 15 days. Look at the full moon tonight. It burns bright.
Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, usually in February in the Gregorian calendar.
How is the Lantern Festival celebrated?
My Chinese friend Jenny Han From Dalian of China explains that Lantern Festival is a day particularly for family reunion.
In her hometown, Jenny’s family would traditionally eat Tangyuan 汤圆 on the Lantern Festival. Tangyuan is a glutinous rice ball with sweet fillings. The round rice ball symbolises reunion. Eating Tangyuan with family signifies happiness.
Jenny’s family would also sit around the table sharing stories, and eating dumplings, fish and many other delicious food.
Streets are lit with bright lanterns — the Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year. Along the rivers, lanterns decorate the sky. People also set off firecrackers.
My Chinese New Year Gathering in Eastleigh
I normally see my Chinese friends around the Chinese New Year time. As we don’t have our own traditional family with us, we would get together with a few families and share food. This year, We were lucky to be invited for a sumptuous home-cooked meal with some friends in Eastleigh.
Look at what we had — you could tell we are not vegetarian.
My friend from Hong Kong cooked this unique dish with pork, Chinese mushroom, Hair Moss (or called Fat Choy, meaning prosperity), and edible fungus called Wood Ear. I haven’t had these ingredients for many years, and the food and the fragrance really stirred my memory.
My Malaysian friend prepared some glutinous rice ball as desserts. She also prepared the typical anglicised Chinese dish – crispy duck. I only knew about crispy (aromatic) duck as a Chinese dish years after living in England.
Thank you for reading all my twenty Chinese New Year posts. I hope you have enjoyed the stories. I hope you have learned something new about the Chinese culture. I wish you all good health, happiness and joy for the rest of the year.