Today marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival. Based on the moon, the Chinese lunar calendar was invented almost 5,000 years ago by the legendary Emperor Huangdi to help Chinese farmers mark weather changes. The holiday is celebrated over a two-week period. It is a time of feasting, gift-giving and renewal.
2011 is the Year of the Rabbit or Year of the Hare. Read more about the rabbit in Chinese folktales, and rabbit-people traits here.
Click here to see what animal you are and its characteristics. (I found out I’m a Water Dragon.)
Chinese New Year is celebrated all over the world. In Paris, a parade featuring music and dancing in the 13th arrondiseement attracts more than 100,000 people a year. Here in New York, the Empire State Building is illuminated in red (happiness) and gold (wealth) to mark the first two days of Chinese New Year. A Lion and Dragon performance will be held on Mott Street in New York’s Chinatown today. A big parade will be held on Sunday.
Eclectic dragon that I am I decided to honor the holiday by signing up for a course on “Discovering Dumplings” at the Institute of Culinary Education. Taught by Kian Lam Kho, a chef, food writer and teacher, we will learn how to make eight different kinds of dumplings from the various regions in China.
Visit The Steamy Kitchen, the food blog by Jaden Hair, to get your own Chinese New Year recipes.
Finally, in honor of the new year, we will gift ten lucky people with a red Habana notebook. If you prefer blank pages vs. ruled let us know.
To enter… you know the drill. Leave a comment on this post before Tuesday, February 8th at midnight EST. We’ll select the winners at random, and follow up via email to sort out mailing addresses.
Good luck!…and Happy New Year!