Friday, January 31, 2014

Kung Hei Fat Choy - 2014

Gentle Friends today is the Chinese Lunar New Year!  So, Kung Hei Fat Choy!!!  It lasts for 15 days and to celebrate we have The San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade an annual event that is held here in the City.  This festival combines pieces of the Chinese Lantern festival and a typical over the top Parade!!  It was first held in 1858 along Grant and Kearny Streets in the heart of Chinatown.  It is the oldest and largest Asian cultural event held in North America.  The parade route begins on Market Street and terminates in Chinatown.  The parade is sponsored by Southwest Airlines and you can click HERE to get information about the route the parade takes.

I went down to Union Square over the weekend and didn't find to many photo ops....  but I did get some snaps....

... looking form Union Square across Geary Street towards Macy's.  Both Macy's (the Men's Store and the Women's) are decorated for the event.....  2014 is the Year of the Horse........

...a shot in the Women's department....

...across Stockton Street in the Men's department .....

... and downstairs in housewares.  Macy's has had some  on going events over the past month to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The Parade is fun with lots of people.....  here are some snaps from last years parade...

... last year was the year of the Snake...




Here are some things you can do to help enjoy and encourage prosperity, longevity and happiness in the coming New Year.....  Have something to eat. and there are some specific things to have and they are Lucky Foods........... starting off with Tangerines and Oranges - displaying and eating these fruits is said to bring good luck and wealth.  The tradition comes from the words for gold and orange they sound alike as do the words for tangerine and luck, sound very much alike.  It's good when on display if the fruit has leaves, as that symbolizes longevity,  however, never group them in fours as that number is associated with death. Next up in the Lucky Foods department are Long Noodles - always served as long as possible for a long, long life. One of the sweet things to eat is Nian Gao - which means year cake, gao sounds like the word for tall or high, which makes the cakes symbolize achieving new heights in the coming year.  These are steamed cakes made with glutinous rice flour, brown sugar and oil.  A side dish you could have are Leafy greens and long beans - leafy greens such as Chinese broccoli are served to wish a long life for parents and again long beans are served to ensure a long life.  The Tray of togetherness - to be displayed and offered to visiting relatives and friends or to be given as a gift has 8 compartments, these are to be filled with things such as kumquats for prosperity, coconut for togetherness, logans to bring many sons and red melon seeds for happiness.  Another fruit to serve and have is the Pomelo - a large citrus fruit that is thought to bring continuous prosperity and status.  It comes from the way the Cantonese phrase for pomelo sounds like the words for prosperity and status - and last be not least is to serve steamed, baked or fried... a Whole Fish -  again the Chinese word for fish sound like the word for abundance, and remember it is important that the fish be served whole with the head and tail intact - to ensure a good start and finish to the year.

There you go, fun stuff to do and great things to eat to ensure a Happy New Year.  You can see past parades on You Tube and find some really super recipes on line to make you own Chinese New year Banquet!!

Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

9 comments:

Margaret said...

So much fun to see all the decorations and hear about the Chinese traditions. I'm Chinese American, but born here in the US and am very American. lol! I do recognize the character for horse though. That's something, right? :D Thanks for the fun post! Happy Chinese New Year!

diamondc said...

Dearest Edgar: I love Chinese Newyear, my husband lived in the orient for a short period and learned to cook chinese, japanese and phillipino foods,Yummy.
Thank-you for sharing such beautiful pictures, and information on foods and tradition.

Blessings

Catherine

Roberta said...

What a wonderful explaination of the Chinese NewYear. Pic are great as always.

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Thanks for sharing the sights, knowledge, and reminding us that there's an opportunity to begin the year again!

geeky Heather said...

Thank you for the fun and informative post!! Enjoy the parade!!

Kielrain said...

Love the photos. How wonderful.

Barb said...

Thanks for the information. Everyone needs a lucky year so let's hope those foods help. I do love the pictures. I bet that is an amazing parade!

Jeanne said...

Well I hope it's a good year for everyone! what pretty photos. I loved your recent photos of the Who-hounds - so cute! I'll be anxious to see your finished item when you get it back from Faye, I'm sure it will be lovely. Have a good February Edgar.

Nancy said...

So colorful and cheerful, and it looks like so much fun! Enjoy Edgar!