Tag Archives: Chinese New Year traditions

Chinese New Year at TANG The Asian Food Emporium

This year the Chinese New Year begins on January 28th 2017.  Traditionally known as the Spring Festival, it ends two weeks later with what is traditionally known as the Lantern Festival. In Melbourne Festival sites are planned for Chinatown, Docklands and Southbank and Federation Square.

Homes are now being cleaned to spotless in preparation and ‘the old’ makes way for the “new.”  In China every home is proudly  decorated with special banners, many in reds and golds symbolising happiness and prosperity.

It is truly a family occasion with everyone preparing for wonderful meals and reunions.  Children look forward to gifts and red pockets – red pockets with lucky money.

This year is the year of the Rooster.  It promises to be a powerful one.  It symbolises a time to move forward.  Sticking with well proven paths to ensure success.

The TANG Asian Food Emporium offer the tried and true ingredients you require for every occasion. Whether its preparing with your friends to celebrate or creating the full festive dinner for family, over the next few weeks we will provide you with some excellent ideas.  For youngstudents and workers away from home, come in we have all the chocolates, confectionery, soft drinks and quick meals to remind you of your home and your family.

Visit TANG at 185 Russell St, Melbourne.

Visit TANG at 185 Russell St, Melbourne.

 

Over the next few weeks we we will bring you news of all the exciting festivities to occur over the New Year period.  So for now prepare.  There isn’t long to go! At TANG we have the latest in banners and decorations with a wide range of festive foods specially ordered for New Year.  Come in and browse.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Try Asian Desserts For a Taste Treat Like No Other

Delicious Rose or Green Tea Chocolate Cake

Delicious Rose or Green Tea Chocolate Cake

When it comes to dessert most people have a bit of a sweet tooth and love their pudding following a satisfying main course. Asian desserts offer a range of different tastes to the traditional European fare.  Glutinous rice balls or Tangyuan (balls of glutinous rice) are a popular Asian dessert any time of the year, but are actually one of the traditional foods during Donghzi, the Chinese Winter Festival, celebrated in December.  TANG The Asian Food Emporium sell a variety of flavoured Tangyuan, including yam paste, kiwi, peanut with white sesame, black sesame and red bean.

It is well worth a visit to this Asian grocery/supermarket just to see the different flavoured ice creams on offer. They are mostly sourced from Japan with intriguing flavours such as Azuki (from Azuki beans), black sesame, green tea. For a delicious cake try the Sylveine chocolate cake in either rose flavour or green tea flavour; then there’s the hakatou cream soft cake peach or the Kracie decoration cake.

If you love fruity lollies you’ll go crazy over the flavours stocked on these shelves. Try DOO kororo grape premium gummy candy, Umeboshi Candy Plum Flavour, kiwifruit, muscat, lemonade or mango gummy candy or blueberry marshmallows. There’s a huge selection of biscuits in amazing packaging like Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Hello Panda to name a few and chocolates galore, the Pokky chocolate range is probably the most popular.
You don’t usually walk into a supermarket or a convenience store to buy a Kitkat and come across flavours such as cheesecake, matcha green tea, sweet chocolate pudding, vanilla ice cream or strawberry!  But at TANG the Asian Food Emporium you will, as they stock the KitKat imported range, with a stack of amazing flavours. Do your tastebuds a favour and check out these flavours at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne.

The Lantern Festival and Tang Yuan Bring Chinese New Year Festivities To A Close

Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival

The last days of the #ChineseNewYear festival are celebrated with the iconic lantern festival. In China this was the equivalent of Valentine’s Day for young lovers, who would attend the lantern festival and guess the second line of a poem on each of the lanterns.  The first sentence of the poem would be visible on the lanterns, leaving the second line, like a riddle, to be guessed at. The last day of the Chinese New Year festival is on Monday 22nd February when families will gather once again to feast and celebrate. Keep an eye out for lanterns festooned around Melbourne, in the streets and outside people’s homes and businesses.

It’s auspicious that the #WhiteLightfestival is being celebrated in Melbourne at the same time with stunning lighting art displays, performances, sculptures and festivities throughout the city. Check out the Golden Monkey at the Town Hall, the State Library forecourt, Queen Victoria Gardens, St. Pauls Cathedral and Birrarung Marr.

Tang Yuan

Tang Yuan

The traditional food for the last day of the #Chinese New Year festival is glutinous rice balls known as Tang Yuan. These are round, symbolising unity, completeness and the full circle.  Tang Yuan and other traditional foods for #Chinese New Year celebrations can be found at Melbourne’s popular TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, conveniently open from 10am to 11pm.

The Tang family wish all their customers and everyone celebrating #ChineseNewYear in Melbourne a Happy New Year with Health, Happiness, Family and Prosperity!

New Year Celebrations Continue With Dragons, Lion Dancers, Food and Cultural Activities

Chinese Dragon in Chinatown, Melbourne.

Chinese Dragon in Chinatown, Melbourne.

There’s plenty of celebrations in Melbourne this weekend to be enjoyed by one and all. China Town in Bourke Street is full of activity and colour, with roving musicians, artists and performers bringing to life traditional figures from Chinese mythology and performing traditional Chinese music.

On Sunday 14th February at 11am the Official Opening of the Chinatown Chinese New Year Festival will be held on the stage at the corner of Russell and Little Bourke Streets, followed by a cultural performance program into the evening.
Melbourne’s Dai Loong Dragon emerges from the Chinese Museum at 11.30am and 1pm thrilling onlookers as it heralds the commencement of the Spring Festival. The Dragon will wind its way through Chinatown amidst much cheering and excitement. The streets of Chinatown will be alive with a cacophony of rhythmic drumming as Chinese Lions also bring in the New Year, visiting the businesses of Chinatown to give their blessings at 11.00am and 6.00pm.

 

Russell Street, where TANG The Asian Food Emporium is situated, will also be awash with vibrancy, with hawker stalls offering traditional Chinese New Year treats from11.00am to 9.00pm. You can also attend craft workshops, learn about feng shui, calligraphy, mah jong and pick up some new recipes at cooking demonstrations. In the evening dance to Pop Asia DJ and join in the celebrations with Chinese dancers and singers on stage on the Main Stage corner Russell and Lonsdale Streets, at 6.00pm and 9.00pm. Call in to TANG at 185 Russell Street and say hello, open until 11pm.

 

 

 

 

Auspicious & Delicious TANG Brings You an Array of CNY Food & Produce

Chinese New Year is around the corner, and it’s time to get everything prepared. TANG The Asia Food Emporium has selected a wide range of Chinese New Year seasonal food & produce, where you can shop & purchase to add flavour & festivity in marking the great new start of the Year of Monkey.

Year Cake – Higher & Better

year-cakeOne of the favourite Chinese New Year dishes must be “Nian Gao”, literally “Year Cake”. According to tradition, Chinese families enjoy preparing different kinds of Chinese cakes, some are savoury like Turnip Cake, while some can be a bit sweet in taste, such as Year Cake. Among all these special Chinese cakes, Year Cake is the most popular New Year treat. No matter you are from the North or the South, live near the seashore or by the river, a dish of Year Cake seems to be an inevitable custom during New Year season. So what indeed makes Year Cake so significant?

Some say the history of Year Cake can be dated back to ancient China, to the time of Spring & Autumn Period, ie around 500 BC. A famous politician of Wu Kingdom, Wu Zixu, was forced to commit suicide under the order of the King of Wu. Before his death, Wu Zixu reminded his followers to “go & dig & find food for the citizens should there come a famine”. This was like a prediction. Sooner or later, King Goujian of the Yue Kingdom invaded Wu, and there was not much food left. Facing such a big threat, Wu Zixu’s followers recalled what the great politician has once said. So they went to the designated place, dug & discovered some “food bricks” that Wu Zixu has stored. These “food bricks” were indeed kind of cakes made of special rice, and by then were turned into food that rescued thousands of lives. In commemorating the wonder deed of Wu Zixu, Chinese people started preparing steamed cake at Chinese New Year, which then became nowadays Year Cake.

Another story of Year Cake is related to good fortune. Some say Year Cake was first mentioned during the Zhou Dynasty. Ancient Chinese believed that eating Year Cake at New Year implied the blessing of great harvestry. Of course we can’t verify whether any of these speaking is true or false, yet we shouldn’t ignore the lucky meaning of the name itself. The Chinese name of Year Cake is pronounced as “Nian Gao”, which is a homophone of “Year High”, meaning “Higher & Better Every Year”. What a fortunate food that brings hope, luck & longevity to the recipients! No wonder Year Cake, aka “Nian Gao” is the most popular cuisine at this festive season of the year.

Nowadays, not just people in China will prepare glutinous rice made Year Cake at the start of a new year, Chinese all over the world will use their own recipes in steaming & preparing such wonderful New Year treat, savoury & sweet alike. What’s more, manufacturers have also brought forth pre-packed Year Cake, where customers can simply buy from the grocery shops, bring home, steam it, and conveniently savour the authentic taste of this fortunate “Nian Gao”.

Lo Hei – Prosperity & Abundance

sashimiWhile Year Cake is a traditional Chinese New Year cuisine, Lo Hei for sure is a modern treat. “Lo Hei” literally means to toss well, which also implies “Prosperity”. It is a dish made of raw fish, with fish carries a homophone of “Abundance”. Lo Hei is believed to be originated in South East Asia, and has been very popular in Singapore & Malaysia for a few decades. In recent years, Lo Hei has become a new trend. Even restaurants in other parts of the globe also started introducing Lo Hei into their Chinese New Year menu, where Chinese all over the world can enjoy a fortunate start of “Prosperity Toss”.

Authentic & traditional Lo Hei dish applied specific kind of raw fish. The modern twist is another popular raw fish choice – Salmon. Orange in colour, salmon adds festive tone to the dish. Indeed, Lo Hei has always maintained a close linkage to vibrant colours. Besides raw fish, its ingredients include: shredded lettuce, celery, carrot and ginger, as well as chopped peanuts, etc. All these ingredients add colour to the cuisine, enhancing joy & bringing luck. Even the steps of eating Lo Hei have its own ritual. The ingredients will be added to the pot one by one, and be well tossed with the sauce made of plum & kumquat. Whenever one adds a new ingredient to the pot, all those involved are requested to say some auspicious words. And when all ingredients are ready, all people need to use their chopsticks to stir & toss up the food, while voicing out loud the phrase “Lo Hei!” “Lo Hei!”. Literally it means “Scoop Up” but as well implying the meaning of “Prosperity Toss”. It is believed that the higher the food being tossed, the better the new year will be.

With so many different ingredients required, many families may not be able to afford time in preparing. Thanks to the manufacturers who introduced pre-packed Lo Hei, customers can simply share the fun of such “Prosperity Toss” & “Wishful Abundance”, comfortably with friends & relatives at home.

Come to TANG The Asia Food Emporium, your one-stop shop for Chinese New Year food & produce, snack & drink. Bring home your most cherished taste at this festive start of the year.

 

意頭好‧味道佳 運時賀年美食齊備

農曆新年轉眼將至,家家戶戶正忙於辦年貨及預備賀年食品,與家人親友迎接猴年,歡度喜慶滿堂的新春佳節。運時特備多款應節食品,不管您是持家有道的家庭主婦、思鄉情濃欲與好友共賀新禧的留學生,還是二人前浪漫新派小家庭,運時的賀年小吃及美食定能讓你大顯身手、回味無窮。

年糕年年高

year-cake新年「蒸糕」是傳統習俗,除了廣東人最愛的蘿蔔糕外,相信年糕必定是指定賀年糕點。不管您來自北方或南方、內陸或沿海,農曆新年吃年糕絕對是常識吧!那為甚麼新春要吃年糕呢?

據說吃年糕的歷史可追溯至春秋時代。相傳身為吳國大夫的伍子胥,被吳王夫差賜劍,要他自刎,伍子胥死前囑咐,如國家有難民眾缺糧,便往象門城牆挖地三尺,自然可覓得糧食。伍子胥死後,吳國被越王勾踐進攻,糧食耗盡,軍民生命危在旦夕。伍的親信想起其遺言,於是前往象門挖掘,真的發現不少「城磚」,原來是伍子胥以江米粉蒸製後壓製而成的食品,這些「城磚」救回不少人命。為紀念伍子胥,從此以後每逢新年,各家各戶皆會蒸製江米年糕,流傳至今,成為新年必備的年糕。

另一個說法是自周代開始,中國人已經在過年時吃年糕,有祝賀五穀豐登之意。當然傳說屬實與否,無從稽考,但年糕與「年高」同音卻是鐵一般的事實。新春當然要吃好意頭的食品,年糕年年高,有年高長壽之意,自然成為賀年佳品。

時至今日,中國各地甚至東南亞各國民眾,在過年時皆會蒸年糕與親友共享。年糕大多以糯米磨粉製成,但不同地區的年糕有其獨特秘方及風味。為了方便普羅家庭可隨時在家輕鬆即蒸年糕,市面有不少口味的預製年糕,只須開爐蒸熟,即可品嘗。

撈起風生水起

sashimi如果年糕屬於傳統,那麼撈起絕對是新興賀年美食。撈起全名是撈起魚生,又稱七彩魚生,是馬來西亞及新加坡的特色新年食品,流行超過數十載,近年開始在東南亞以外華人地區風行,不少餐廳食肆也會在農曆新年期間推出撈起,取其「風生水起」之意。

「撈」在廣東話裏有「拌」之意,而「撈起」意思則代表「愈做愈旺」,故撈起魚生可說是意頭十足,非常適合新春享用。按傳統撈起所採用的魚生為九江魚生,近年開始選用三文魚魚生,橙色魚肉令整碟佳餚更具色彩。撈起魚生又名七彩魚生,皆因材料包括生菜絲、西芹絲、紅蘿蔔絲、薑絲及花生碎等,七彩繽紛,奪目燦爛,別具意頭。傳統的撈起魚生會將各材料逐一加進碟上,再混和以酸梅膏及桔子汁添加糖水調製而成的醬料。每加進一款材料時,圍桌而坐的眾人要說一句吉祥說話。而當所有材料加好後,眾人便要「起筷」,用筷子將所有材料撈起拌勻,同時說出「撈起」「撈起」,祝願眾人風生水起、愈撈愈旺。

要預備撈起的材料也頗費時,因此坊間備有預製撈起禮盒,只要買一盒回家,加進醬料便可與親朋好友同心起筷,齊齊撈起。

運時備有不同款式口味的賀年食品,不管您來自中國南北那一方,或自東南亞那一國移民至此,我們的應節美食定能讓您於新春佳節,重拾家鄉風味。

Chinese New Year’s Traditions, Family Meals, Fire Crackers, Lions, Dragons & Lanterns.

Lion Dance Fed Square, pic Juile Renouf

Lion Dance Fed Square, pic Juile Renouf

The Chinese New Year festival covers many days of festivity, clearing out the old year and welcoming in the new. ‘Hoi Nin’, the opening of the year, signifies continuous celebrations! Often there is a decorative fish jumping over the front door to symbolize that the New Year is ‘going up a level’, as the fish jumps to reach new heights.

 

The first day of the New Year, on February 8th, is a most important occasion, as it’s a time for the entire extended family to gather for a celebratory meal. Usually this will be with the Father’s side of the family first, including Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties and all of the children. On the second day celebrations continue with the Mother’s family. The traditional meal is vegetarian with chives often used as a garnish because phonetically the Chinese word for chives sounds like ‘long’ – a long life, in friendship, with family and business. Dumplings also are served and, in special dishes, these symbolise gold and silver.

Year of the Monkey Red Packets

Year of the Monkey Red Packets

On New Year’s Eve ‘Red Packets’ are prepared for the young people visiting their older relatives and all (except those married) receive ‘Red Packet’ gifts from the adults, which symbolise blessings in health, study, happiness and good luck. Tang, The Asian Food Emporium in Melbourne have a gorgeous range of Red Packets symbolising the year of the monkey as well as traditional foods, decorations and cards at 185 Russell Street Melbourne.

Firecrackers are let off with dragon and lion dancers to scare off evil spirits, traditions much loved by everyone; catch these at Queen Vic Markets on 6th Feb, Federation Square on 6th/7th Feb, Docklands 8th Feb and the Dragon Parade starts in China Town on 14th Feb. Crown will put on fireworks on 6th Feb and the lanterns are out today (2nd February) at the Emporium. There are many Chinese cultural festivals on in Melbourne during this time to celebrate.

The Tang Family from TANG The Asian Food Emporium wish all their patrons a very happy and prosperous New Year!