In the same manner that Muslims all over the world have the Islamic Calendar and have a different new year, the 1.3 billion strong Chinese also have their very own Chinese Calendar vis a vis Chinese New Year.
Not known to everyone though is the fact that Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival and has no set date and can, therefore, range from January 21 to February 20. This 2019, the new year occurred on February 5.
It is customary during Chinese New Year for people to set off fireworks at midnight. They believe that it is a great way to ward off evil, welcome the new year and good luck.
The Chinese have different traditions during the new year some of which include no sweeping or throwing of garbage as you are also throwing luck away and kids are handed money inside red envelopes the practice of which is somehow reminiscent of Quranqasho.
Red is also an important part of the celebration — from clothing to decoration, the colour is also associated with good luck.
Of the many Chinese traditions, the one that people love the most though is eating dumplings. For the very traditional Chinese, dumplings are eaten in almost every meal during the new year.
Coming all the way from the land of the dragon, internationally acclaimed Chef Leo Liang, Executive Chinese Chef from The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street, came to Oman to give the people of the Sultanate the opportunity to experience the authentic Cantonese flavour in celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Working alongside the culinary team at China Mood of Al Bustan Palace, Chef Leo is in Oman until February 22 to give 10-days of unique experience paying tribute to the delectable cuisine and ancient culture of China showcasing dishes such as pan-fried sliced Wagyu beef with wild mushrooms and double-boiled Peking-style duck soup with mushrooms and dried scallops.
In a rare opportunity on February 12, the chef did a demo of how to prepare beef dumplings. The chef shared that it is important to get right the size and the thickness of the dough used in the dumplings.
While dumplings may come in different shapes and forms, the chef preferred the half-moon shape evoking lunar influence.
He also said that a good, sizable portion of beef filling is also needed and a good dumpling should be packed with all the right flavour that when soy or chilli and sweet and sour sauces are put on it, it elevates the flavour and make every bite memorable.
Chef Sam, Chef de Cuisine supervising the kitchens at China Mood, said that the Chinese New Year is the most celebrated event “on our calendar and I look forward to starting it with good health and fortune.”
He added, “Each plate is prepared with precision and artfully presented. Our gourmet menu celebrates the Spring Festival with dishes that are aromatic and full of flavour.”
If you are looking forward to celebrating the Chinese New Year, what better way than starting with the dumplings. If you are visiting China Mood, get to enjoy the restaurant’s famous tea sommelier who showcases a variety of teas and their history with a spectacular show every evening.
yeru ebuen & titash chakraborty -