Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Year of the Sheep, Goat or Ram (Chinese New Year)

February 19, 2015 is the start of the "Chinese New Year."  That is 4712 if you keep count using the Chinese Lunar Calendar.  Depending on where you see it mentioned, it will be referred to as the "Year of the Sheep" or "Year of the Goat" or "Year of the Ram."  It's all the same but can be confusing.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year starts on New Year's Eve and goes until the "Lantern Festival" (March 5th) which is on the 15th day of the new year.  Tradition starts with a reunion meal on New Year's Eve. where family gathers and celebrate together.

If you haven't looked at your February calendar yet, you might want to for some planning.  February 17th is "Fat Tuesday" of Mardi Gras.  That is the night before "Ash Wednesday" (18th) which start the Lenten season for Christians around the world.

Then comes the Chinese New Year on Thursday.  So if you are into celebrating this event, you would have your meal on the night of Ash Wednesday.  The celebrating would continue then to Thursday, March 5th.  There is something designated for celebration on each day from New Year's Eve to the Lantern Festival.  If you're interested, do a little research on the internet.

To help you out with some food choices, I have 2 recipes again this week.  Tomorrow is a recipe for "General Tso's Chicken" that I'm sure you will enjoy.  On Thursday, I have a recipe for "Mongolian Beef" for you to try.

Both recipes are relatively simple to make so don't fear trying to cook Chinese.  Even if you don't use these dishes for celebrating the Chinese New Year, they will work well for you anytime.

Until next week, "Happy Cooking" and "Happy Chinese New Year" to all.

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