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The Year of the Tiger


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Next Tuesday (Feb 2nd, 2022) is New Year's Day welcoming in the Year of the Tiger. All around me neighbours are making preparations for the 15 day celebrations. This includes smoking and drying your pork and sausages and preparing some special foods.

 

About an hour ago, I popped out to pick up some necessities from the local mom and pop store. This includes smoking your pork and sausages. Mom and her friend was hiding in the back being busy while Pop was smoking meat out front and looking after the store.

 

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Mom (left) and friend preparing zongzi (sticky rice stuffed bamboo leaves) for steaming.

 

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Wrapped Zongzi.

 

More to follow.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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The mom and pop shop also usually has one or two ducks on sale; maybe a couple of chickens.

 

Here is Mom herding her ducks on a normal day.

 

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When I passed today, she had slightly more ducks and had fashioned a cage.

 

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And she had a dozen chickens in this basket.

 

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All poultry is, of course, sold live but she will do the deed, if you insist. Few do.

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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This is sort of turning into a story about my mom 'n pop store, but it's so cold I am not venturing much further lately.

 

This morning I popped out among the red lanterns, which have appeared everywhere, to pick some vegetation to supplement some freezer meats. They only ever have a very limited choice but I found some nice spinach. In fact the choice was more limited than usual as tonight is New Years Eve and what they don't sell today, they'll have to eat themselves or bin. They won't be open tomorrow - maybe not for the next few days.

 

With this in mind, I thought to grab myself a couple of 6-packs of beer. Pop suggested it would be better to take four 6-packs to tide me over the next few days! Damn good idea! They do look after me.

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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Well, it's here. The place is swarming with tigers.

 

Actually nothing is swarming at all. No one has stepped put of their doors today, as is normal. Chinese New Year's Day is very much a stay at home day. China has closed down. All the shops are closed - it reminds me of a Sunday in Scotland 50 years ago, when everything closed - shops, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, everything; even the local parks were locked up.

 

Tomorrow, they'll start creeping back.

 

In the meantime, I was slightly taken to task for suggesting that 粽子 (zòng zi - sticky rice dumplings  wrapped in bamboo leaves) are a New Year Food. Friends from Hunan, Xi'an, Beijing and Shanghai all told me that 粽子 are only for Mid-Autumn Festival and therefore I was wrong.

 

No. I. Wasn't.

True, they are not traditional in most of China, but here in Guangxi they are very popular at CNY among some of the ethic minorities, including the Dong, Yao and Miao peoples. They are also de rigeur in neighbouring Vietnam during Tết Nguyên Đán, the Vietnamese equivalent of CNY.

 

So, instead of being  surrounded by tigers I'm surrounded by discarded bamboo leaves which I can't throw out. One of the New Year customs is that no garbage can be disposed of and no sweeping can be done on the 1st day of the year, else you will sweep away all your year's good luck! Wouldn't want that, would we!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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San Francisco hosts one of the largest Chinese communities outside China.    New Year's preparations have taken over several neighborhoods, Grant Avenue area certainly but also the handful of offshoot concentrations or "New Chinatowns".    We live a few blocks from the Clement Street neighborhood, where shopping was frenzied over the weekend.   

 

Last night was punctuated by many informal (illegal) fireworks ranging from strings of firecrackers to quite a few major reverberating booms.   It's quiet this morning.

eGullet member #80.

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42 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

San Francisco hosts one of the largest Chinese communities outside China.  

 

Er, really? It isn't even near the largest in America (and I don't mean the USA, but it's not the largest there either.) Bangkok is much bigger.

 

42 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

Last night was punctuated by many informal (illegal) fireworks ranging from strings of firecrackers to quite a few major reverberating booms.   It's quiet this morning.


Unlicensed fireworks have been illegal here for about a decade, although like so many laws in China, they pass them, but seldom enforce them. However, I haven't heard a single firework this year, probably for the first time ever.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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8 minutes ago, heidih said:

Are there CNY foods that are tailored to the animal and the accompanying earth element - like this year water tiger?

 

Not really. Some dishes do have the word 'tiger' in their names, but they are not particularly eaten at this time. Perhaps the most famous such dish is 'tiger salad', but no one wants to be eating salad in this freezing weather!

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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