Feast of History: The Jade Emperor’s Banquet
The Chinese New Year is an ancient celebration with its roots lost in the mists of history. The most popular legend has it that the celebration began after the defeat of a terrible monster known as Nian. In the winter, this monster use to terrorize the people of China living in the mountains. However, this monster did not like loud noises, fireworks or the color red. So, when the villagers and townspeople of ancient China gathered together wearing red, beating drums and setting off fireworks, Nian was defeated and never returned.
Each Chinese New Year is symbolize by a different animal, a part of the Chinese Zodiac which is even more ancient and is believed to have been started by the Jade Emperor, a deity in the Daoism and Buddhism religions. He invited all the animals to a banquet, not unlike the Chinese New Year celebration, in order to decide which year would be named after which animal.
If you would like to celebrate Chinese New Year on your own, here is a list of food that you could try. Of course, Chinese takeout would be your best option, but including some of these would add more celebration and flavor to the festivities!
- Steamed Dumplings
- Spring Rolls
- Mandarin Oranges
- Dried Seaweed Snacks
- Dried Fruit (Such as ginger, goji berries, persimmons, coconut and banana)
- Wasabi Peas
- Sesame Sticks
- Almond Cookies and Fortune Cookies
And here to finish our month about Asian food, are two videos by one of my favorite Youtubers, Lizqui, from China getting ready for the Chinese New Year! Enjoy!