Friday, January 20, 2012

Counting down to Chinese New Year!

With Chinese New Year...Year of the Dragon (Chinese Year 4710) around the corner, days are getting busier with all the last minute cleaning, decorating, shopping and cooking. Getting time to off to write on my blog only in the wee hours when it is peaceful and quiet. A short drive to Tesco Hypermarket nearby earlier in the evening after dinner was super jam in both directions! Well it seems everyone is rushing in for the last minute thing too. Nothing much can be done with the crowd and queue in there. Gonna leave it for Friday and weekends which I presumed there will be less 'human traffic' when all folks are leaving and rushing back to their hometown. As for myself...considered lucky that I am local.

This year Chinese New Year Eve's dinner will be a simple one. With all the routine cooking daily...we are eating out for a change and also let me have my "kitchen holiday". No shark fin soup in the menu this year! Shark fin soup has been a traditional staple at dinners during the eve. It is a soup or broth made with shark fin and flavoured with chicken or some other stock. The fin itself has very little flavour and used primarily to add texture to the dish. It is seen as a delicacy, often served to guests at important events such as weddings and business banquets. 

Shark fin soup is not cheap and a bowl can cost up to US $100, making the fins easily the most lucrative part of the shark. This fact has helped ensure a steady supply of fins as fishermen and middlemen slaughter sharks wherever they can find them in order to satisfy the market. With the sudden increase in during Chinese New Year, shark fin soup is being consumed in vast quantities, placing a threat on shark populations.

Shark fin can be bought either frozen or dried, with the dried variety being available either shredded or as whole fins. The fins are often treated with hydrogen peroxide in order to make their color more appealing to consumers. The soup is often claimed to have health benefits, such as increasing your appetite, improving your kidneys, lungs and bones. However there is no evidence to support these claims! Let's do our part to help protect the sharks! If your urge tells you to have it...get the imitation or mock ones!

Like many others Chinese family, the popular activities after the reunion dinner is to visit night markets and temples. Many Chinese families like to do their prayers on the eve or just after midnight to give thanks for the past year and to pray for a successfully, happy and peaceful year ahead. Shall make a visit to the temple nearby instead of having to go all the way to join the crowd at the popular and grand Thean Hou Temple

To all MyDiaryMyBlog blog readers who are ushering in the Year of Dragon..."May the Water Dragon brings you lots of luck, wealth in abundance, never ending happiness and plenty of smiles to last forever!" GONG XI FA CAI! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! SELAMAT TAHUN BARU CINA! KONG HEI FATT CHOY! Many thanks to you all! To my dearest mum and her family who is half the world away...have a great and happy Chinese New Year! n May the Dragon brings you a smooth year! Here ending off my countdown post with "The Tiger Chinese New Year Shuffle" video...a rather new approach to the traditional lion dance...enjoy viewing!