The Chinese New Year started on February 8 and we celebrated in style right here in the Middle East - What Fun!
Chinese people believe that a good start to the year will lead to a lucky year. Chinese traditionally celebrated the start of a new year of farm work, and wished for a good harvest (when most were farmers). This has now evolved to celebrating the start of a new business year and wishing for profits and success in various vocations.
Although there are many interesting legends and stories explaining the start of the Chinese New Year festival, the main two reasons for the festival are:
--To celebrate a year of hard work, have a good rest, and relax with family
--To wish for a lucky and prosperous coming year
Our Bahraini celebration started with the monthly AWA (American Women's Association) meeting themed "Year of the Monkey." There were some beautiful dresses on the ladies.
|This was just TOOOO cute! Thank you, DT.|
|I have kept these red envelopes in my desk drawer for at least 20 years.|
In China, the red packet is called yasui qian (压岁钱 /yaa-sway chyen/), which means 'suppressing ghosts money'. Those who receive a red packet are wished another year negotiated safely and peacefully.
The next Saturday, we ventured to the Bahrain Farmer's market to buy some wonderful locally grown vegetables. It was a very interesting experience. We ate waffles and bought the most beautiful vegetables.
|My grocery bag carried some really unusual items. They were delicious!|
|It was impressive that so much is grown here in Bahrain.|
Our culinary journey through the New Year Celebration continued with an Asian friend who also works for D – PF invited us for a 7 course Chinese New Year dinner.
We ate and celebrated for over 2 hours. PF has a favorite restaurant in Manama called Beijing Chinese Restaurant. It is what I would imagine is a very authentic local Chinese restaurant. Not fancy, very "down home" and the food is OVER the top FANTASTIC. Thanks PF!
We ate in a small private dining room. In the center of the table was a lazy Susan we could rotate to refill our plates. Waiters just kept bringing food and bringing food and bringing food for 2 hours….we were stuffed! Fish of all kinds, lobster, shrimp, dumplings and of course Peking Duck, their specialty.
I would never know what to order in a Chinese restaurant and that made having PF treat us to the New Year specialties exceptionally wonderful.
Last year PF invited us to celebrate the New Year with him as well so this year the ladies all got together and gave him a miniature orange tree. Oranges are good luck in Chinese culture.
Our week long New Year celebration ended with Valentine's Day and a Skype with little LW and his mom, BHB. Remember, Sunday is Monday here in the Sand Box so it would have to take place after Hubby D got home from work.
Sadly, Hubby D was caught in traffic on the Saudi causeway coming home. They closed the causeway because it was the anniversary of the 2011 uprising here in Bahrain. It did not open to traffic for 3 hours. His commute home took over 4 hours. He did not arrive home until after 10PM, almost 10:30.
I went ahead and talked to LW on Skype at the designated time. He seemed to remember me. He is walking better and can throw you a kiss. The kiss part is very important as I need lots of his kisses! It was a great Valentine's Day gift and would have been perfect if D had been there.
|Thanks to KW for taking this photo for me.|
Hubby D did bring me some beautiful roses (when he finally arrived home), so that was really, really, really nice. I love flowers and will enjoy them for many days to come. Life is good.
Here is a virtual red envelope from me to you. May it bring you prosperity and keep you safe throughout the new year.
Happy Year of the Monkey!