By Miriam Marcus
Kung Hei Fat Choy! It's the Year of the Dog!
The Chinese New Year, called bingxu in 2006, begins
on January 29th and marks the start of the year 4703 on the
Chinese calendar. The three-week long Chinese New Year Festival
can be traced back thousands of years, and is accompanied
by a multitude of customs, traditions - and flavorful foods!
One of the most famous myths about the origins
of the Chinese New Year Festival surrounds the fierce beast,
Nien. The Chinese believe Nien eats people on the eve of the
New Year, and so they protect themselves and their families
by pasting red paper around entrances and doorways, lighting
torches, and setting off firecrackers throughout the night;
loud noise, fire light and the color red are supposedly feared
by Nien. According to legend, the New Year then begins on
the day when the gods report on the affairs of mankind and
pay their respects to the Jade Emperor, the supreme Taoist
Welcoming the new year, nian oras
it is called in Chinese, is a jubilant occasion which brings
together family and friends who will travel great distances
to reunite and dine together on this special holiday. The
tremendous array of dishes prepared for the occasion serve
to symbolize abundance and wealth for the celebrating household.
Folklore and superstition even attribute various ingredients
to specific blessings for the family. For example, consumption
of seaweed signifies exceeding wealth in the year to come,
as does eating oranges and whole fish. Munching on peanuts
will ensure long life, and nibbling lotus seeds may promise
the arrival of numerous male offspring.
Chef Richard Chen of Wing Lei at the
Wynn Las Vegas offers his blend of Cantonese, Shanghai and
Szechwan style of cuisine to both inspire and promote the
fulfillment of wealth and happiness in the New Year, with
recipes for a Peking
Duck Salad, Short
Ribs, and Deep
Fried Shrimp with Chili Sauce.
Those born under the sign of the dog are characteristically
responsible, compassionate, reliable, honest, pessimistic,
anxious, overwhelming and nosy.
You Ain’t Nothin’ But a
If you were born in 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982,