Greetings and happy Year of the Ox! On Sunday evening I rang in the Chinese New Year with friends and a traditional hot pot, a mixture of food shared around a table, everyone just throwing in what they like to eat. My kind of holiday.
We headed over to friends Lynn and Mike’s home for the celebration, and by the time I got there a host of things were laid on the table for us to toss into the pot over a flame: cabbage, balls of pork and fish, mushrooms, chicken, greens and even quail eggs. The hot pot became popular as a way to have a quick and convenient meal for the family reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s eve, after everyone was tired from traveling, cleaning and preparing for the upcoming year. It promotes gathering and community, people congregating around the hot pot, celebrating and ringing in the year the right way. I was relieved, however, to note that some typical Chinese foods such as fish cheeks and 100 year old eggs were absent from this occasion.
Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival and is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. People criss-cross the whole of China to visit relatives and give gifts wrapped in red. If you were born in the Year of the Ox, you are a natural born leader, though you like to conserve and be methodical. My husband Jay was born in the Ox’s domain; the traits paint an fairly accurate picture of him I dare say!
We laughed and celebrated, stuffed ourselves and reveled in the generosity of our hosts. They always treat us as if their home is our own, and we hope that you find a way to relish the joy of Chinese New Year too.
We wish you a happy New Year, and the best of luck in all of your endeavors. The Ox is with you.