20 shots from Chinese New Year visiting (and a lion dance)

Lion Dance

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.

Chew Yieng

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. ˙͜>˙

Prawn Crackers Acar

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.

Durian Chocolate Stick

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.

Pineapple

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.

Kumquat Candy

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.

CNY Lunch

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.

Dabai Fried Rice

9. Dabai fried rice! This was at Arthur’s house.

Kacangma

10. It went very well with the kacangma chicken (a local herb called motherwort). I usually get my fix at Payung Cafe, and coincidentally he had a few dishes catered from there too.

Pineapple Prawns

11. I particularly enjoyed the prawns with pineapple that he cooked though.

Suituapui

12. This is me and suituapui a.k.a. Arthur.

Japanese Curry

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.

Ang Pow

14. I also (strangely) received 5 ang pows (red packets containing money) this year despite my advanced age. Haha.

Open House Food

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.

Love Hearts

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. smirk

Pomegranate

17. I also found a house growing pomegranate! I didn’t know the fruits can grow in our tropical climate.

HB

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.

CNY Visiting 2016

20. I hope you all had a great Chinese New Year thus far! :)

Chinese New Year Visiting 2014

eddy house

It’s customary to go to the houses of friends and family during Chinese New Year.

cny open house

I didn’t do a whole lot of Chinese New Year visiting this year. My family is back home so mostly I just went to a couple of good friend’s houses.

visiting cny

I went to Arthur’s house and had some of his home-made cookies. I also met a new friend and reader there – that’s part of the fun of it, you get to meet visitors who are already there and make new connections. I was also hoping to eat some of the durian tempoyak dishes that I missed last CNY when he cooked a buffet at his open house. Haha!

arthur hb

He was kind enough to give me a (very generous) ang pow despite my age. I was a little shocked when I opened it and saw the amount. I must buy him lunch before I go back.

ang pow

I also went to my mate Eddy’s house – haven’t seen him in quite a while and he just got married!

white rabbit candy

There were rabbit candy there! It was a trip down memory lane for the snacks in his house. I also found out that these White Rabbit candy (the ones with edible paper) is only sold in pharmacies in the Philippines while the other type with glossy wrap is sold in supermarkets!

cny visiting

A couple from the Philippines also came over to see how CNY is done in Sibu. Cain is originally from Florida and migrated to a lot of different places (and even did an Amazon cruise the local way last year) before settling in Cebu.

cain hb eddy

I’m glad I had my phone with me so I could take all these memorable photos while visiting and meeting old (and new) friends on Chinese New Year – after all, it only happens once a year!

wine collection

There’s a large liquor selection at Eddy’s place and I noticed I can do something very nifty on my smartphone!

Short Mention:

info eye wine

There’s a function called Info-eyeTM on my Sony Xperia Z1. It activates your camera and can show you all sorts of information about the places and objects around you. It’s the best and most practical feature of AR (Augmented Reality) that I’ve ever seen and it’s propriety to Sony so you can only get it on this phone.

info eye google maps

You can scan everything from buildings to barcodes and even text! Info-eyeTM allows you to *share* the results (where you are, bottles of wine you like etc) right from the camera app so I thought that was really cool! I found a nice bottle of wine which I’m not familiar with at Eddy’s place and we decided to use Info-eyeTM to see what goes well with it.

info eye images

The results are simply amazing! It shows you everything from the location of the vineyard on Google Maps to search results and there’s also relevant information on wine pairing when you take a photo. The helpful wine bottle overlay guides you when you take your photo. We were all very amazed by this feature – I think I might have sold the Xperia Z1 to a lot of people just on this demonstration/experiment alone. :D

Chinese New Year visitation photos (2005)

cny05 karen

These are the Chinese New Year visitation photos from this year. I
was supposed to go on another one today, but I can’t make it coz I
slept late last night. The photo above was the point house – Karen’s
place, where we met up at about 11 pm or so. The people grew and shrank
with every house due to personal obligations – Karen is the one in the
white dress.

cny05 justina

This is us at Justina’s place – she’s the one in blue, middle. I’m
wearing a red shirt, and I’m on far left in this one. I noticed that a
lot of my ex-classmates who did medicine is now doing a final year
abroad, I’ve seen interesting photos from India, Scotland, etc.

cny05 siew leng

We dropped by Siew Leng’s place after that, and she was doing
homework on the second day of Chinese New Year, which was quite
impressive. She’s the one in the middle, red stripes.

cny05 thien na

The next house was Thien Na’s house…and a lot of people congregated and left there – Lisa, Wendy, Collina, Jenny etc.

cny05 me thien na

Here’s me and Thien Na coz we realized that that particular corner
of the house has been featured in the past few CNY photos so here’s one
from another angle.

cny05 catherine

We went to several houses before ending up at Catherine’s. She’s
wearing a muted red and standing in the approximate middle. It was good
to catch up with all of them, all my ex-classmates, and see where they
are now. That’s the best thing about these group visiting exercises,
though I usually go out with a smaller group of people. It was fun,
catching up.

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