The Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday on the Chinese calendar. Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in dragon years are innovative, brave, and passionate. Salvador Dali and John Lennon were born in the year of the dragon.
At Chinese New Year celebrations families wear red clothes, decorate poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.
We spoke to craveDFW contributor Joy Jangles who has family in Shanghai and she said when she called her mother to wish her a happy new year, the call was deadened by the loud bursts of fireworks in the background.
We peeked in on a local Dallas family this week to see what dishes they served for the Chinese New Year. Thank you Vi Nguyen for the contribution.
The celebration continue for up to 15 days in China, but in urban areas 7 days. You can still catch your traditional Chinese New Year feasts in Dallas by checking out Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck who is offering a prix fixe menu showcasing Asian-inspired dishes representing the five Chinese elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth.
A creative five-course menu is being offered inclusive of a chef’s amuse, a pastry prelude, and a decadent dessert. Dishes such as the Wok-Fired Dumplings with XO Chili Sauce, Roasted Loup de Mer, Apple Wood Smoked Peking Duck and Szechuan Pepper Crusted Filet are each designed to evoke themes of the Chinese New Year like good fortune and power, and will ensure that all visitors start the Year of the Dragon off right.
Catch the special menu January 23rd–February 3rd, 2012. For all the Puck fans, the chef will be at Five Sixty February 1, 2012.