It was the Chinese New Year a few weeks ago, and it was my first time not spending this important and joyous occasion with my family. Chinese New Year, very much self-explanatory, celebrates the arrival of a new year on the Chinese calendar. Before Chinese New Year, it is a traditional practice to clean and tidy one's house thoroughly to "get rid of any ill-fortune"; and during Chinese New Year, people like to burn fire crackers, wear brand new clothes and watch lion dances. On the first day of Chinese New Year, families usually gather to enjoy the festivity together, and children get red packets. While I am disappointed that I could not receive any red packets from my relatives this year, I am still glad that there is some good Chinese food around Rochester, which slightly eased my homesickness during Chinese New Year!
On the night of Chinese New Year, my friends and I ordered Chinese takeout from a Chinese restaurant called Chopsticks. We ordered some sesame beef and fried rice, as well as my favourite roasted pork over white rice (cha shao) and fried flat rice-noodles with beef (gan chao niu he). There are also other restaurants offering Chinese takeouts near the school, so you never need to worry about not being able to find a neat restaurant to satisfy your crave for Chinese food. In fact, we do have Panda Express (a fast food restaurant chain selling American-styled Chinese cuisine) in school, but I mean, you would want something more authentic Chinese food on such a significant occasion, and takeout is the best option (you can always cook, but I live in Susan B. Anthony Halls and the kitchens here are not that well equipped). On the second day of Chinese New Year, I attended a potluck dinner organised by my Bible Study group (I attend the Rochester Chinese Christian Church), and I had another feast of Chinese food. Here is a picture of some of the food we had that night:
Believe me, they tasted way better than they look.
The University of Rochester has its own Chinese Students' Association. During Chinese New Year, the CSA had also organised a China Nite event, which was basically a variety show featuring singing, dancing, instrumental performances, drama etc. I personally did not attend the event, but I heard from my friends that it was nice. If you want to know exactly what it was about, you can always visit the China Nite website and see for yourself.
Happy Year of the Horse!
Check out Deb's blog post about the Year of the Dragon: Happy Lunar New Year!