Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Lunar New Year-Year of the Rabbits!!

Now the New Year is official. Being Vietnamese, I grew up following the Lunar calendar to ring in the new year. It it celebrated on the last new moon in January or February. Traditions run deep and strong. I have the most wonderful memories of this celebration. We try not to work during this time because the belief is if you work hard on this date, they you will be working hard the rest of the year.

The grown-ups would give the kids money in red envelopes (I loved this growing up) because if you give, you will receive the rest of the year. My grandfather, mom, and aunts would get together a week or so before and spend all weekend making sticky rice dish with fatty salted pork in the middle and wrapped in banana leaves. Then it is steamed for 14 hours and turns the rice green. Very laborious and time consuming but delicious. It's an acquired taste. My paternal grandfather made the best when he was alive. He never cooked, except for this dish. I still miss him.

Also, visiting families and friends all week long is one I also loved because I had a lot of cousins and during this time, we would get to see each other and catch up. Oh yeah and my one thing I disliked, loud firecrackers blown up in front of our houses. Growing up being the only Asians in the 'hood, this would bring out the curious or frightened neighbors.

My boys called my parents this morning to wish them a happy New Year. I miss my family and some of these traditions I don't do because I don't have families here. However, I've got friends and hopefully they will join in a meal with us when they visit.

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