1. I managed to catch a lion dance performance while Chinese New Year visiting. A friend arranged for them to come at 2:30 pm and invited us over to see.
2. This is the full and complete 15-minute video which had the firecracker red carpet start to welcome the lions in, the lion dance also went to every room in the house to “bless” them, followed by the lions playing with the firecrackers at the end. It’s worth a watch if you’ve never seen a Sibu style lion dance home visit before.
3. I went to quite a few open houses this year, from ex-coworkers to friends. This is Chew Yieng, a classmate of mine. We used to go to the same school (and even went to New Zealand at the same time when we were 15). She told me a funny story about how she met me again in Christchurch while waiting in line for a pay phone in 1995. ˙͜>˙
4. This is deep fried prawn (shrimp) crackers with acar – a staple during the Lunar New Year. Acar is a dish of pickled vegetables, there’s a distinctive vinegary taste and it goes very well with the fish and prawn crackers.
5. One of my favorite things to do while visiting is eating unusual snacks from all over. This one is noteworthy in that it’s a locally made durian candy made to look like an ice cream. The inside is durian paste and the exterior is coated with chocolate and the entire thing is mounted on a stick.
6. Pineapples are a symbol of prosperity since the word in Hokkien sounds like “incoming millions” (kinda, the second word actually means ten-thousand but is generally understood as wealth). Thus, you can see a lot of berry (yes, it’s a type of berry) themed items. I also found a Korean made yoghurt and muesli bar in this home.
7. Kumquat candy used to be very popular – these are Mandarin orange flavored sweets made in the shape of a segment of kumquat orange. There’s usually gelatin inside so it’s soft and chewy although some types are hard candy. I also sampled a Toblerone clone made in China here.
8. There are also a lot of houses which offered hot food this year. This dish has a wild boar Chinese sandwich (man tou) with a side of curry chicken, tang hoon with egg, and okra.
9. Dabai fried rice! This was at Arthur’s house.
11. I particularly enjoyed the prawns with pineapple that he cooked though.
12. This is me and suituapui a.k.a. Arthur.
13. This is the Japanese curry at another house. I love eating hot food at open homes. You get to taste home cooking and it’s more substantial than cakes or biscuits.
14. I also (strangely) received 5 ang pows (red packets containing money) this year despite my advanced age. Haha.
15. China imports are very big this year. I noticed a lot of homes stock Chinese made snacks for the guests, this one is a peanut filled cracker.
16. Behold! Love Hearts! These are made in the United Kingdom and I was very fond of them when I was little. I have to admit that I took 2 of the Love Heart rolls home coz it was so awesome.
17. I also found a house growing pomegranate! I didn’t know the fruits can grow in our tropical climate.
18. Happy CNY everyone!
19. This is a long 39,999 large firecracker roll I let off during the first day of the Lunar New Year. I had to use a lighter to light it in the middle coz the Visco fuse dropped off. I love this video coz the cadence was perfect – the start where I pulled away to the multicolored effects and large pops and bangs to the end where the banner dropped down and an explosion flung it back up in a very festive manner.
20. I hope you all had a great Chinese New Year thus far! 🙂