◊ Two different calendar systems are used among many Chinese people. The Western Calendar is used for everyday matters, but the Chinese Lunar Calendar is used to set weddings and other auspicious dates.
◊ The Chinese Lunar Calendar is also used to determine festivals and holidays.
◊ A normal Chinese lunar year consists of 12 lunar months, listed numerically as: Month 1, Month 2, Month 3 … Month 12. A month may have 29 or 30 days but never 31.
◊ A leap Chinese lunar year consists of 13 lunar months but there is no Month 13. Instead the month that is leaped will be listed as Month “x” large/small (having 30/29 days) and Month “x” small/large (having 29/30 days).
A whole month is added during a leap year. It is not always the same month; the years between are not consistent either.
Curious to find out more about the leap year, I purchased this calender book (right photo), which begins with the year 1903 and ends with the year 2021, to see if I could find the pattern to how leap year is determined. Unfortunately I coud not (lack the intellectual capacity to figure it out). But I shall continue to search. Hopefully I will find another book or someone who is able to shed some light on the matter.
◊ The 1st day of every Chinese lunar month is new moon.
◊ The 15th day of every Chinese lunar month is full moon.
◊ The Western (also known as the Gregorian) calendar is based on the earth rotation around the sun. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon. That is why Chinese New Year never falls on the same day of the Western calendar.
◊ This year Chinese New Year is February 10, 2013. It is the Chinese year 4711, the year of the snake (snake people are deep thinkers and soft spoken).
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Joining friends at a restaurant to celebrate so will not be doing any cooking.
I would, however, like to share one of my kids favorite dishes with you. Suitable for the Chinese New Year banquet table; so easy, it will become one of your quick “go to” dish any time. Serve with rice and a green vegetable or salad, I served it with steamed broccoli raab, delicious!
From My Students’ Favorite Chinese Recipes, updated edition by Norma Chang
• 1 tablespoon ginger wine. Click here for info.
• 3 tablespoons ketchup
• 2 tablespoons broth or water
• 1 teaspoon sugar
Combine all the above in a small bowl. This is the sauce.
• 1 pound large raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, washed, pat dried and toss with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Refrigerate ½ – 2 hours.
• 4 tablespoons oil
• 4 slices fresh ginger
• 2 scallions, cleaned and thinly sliced
• 2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1. Add oil to preheated wok, swirl to coat entire surface. Add ginger slices. Turn heat to high, when oil reaches smoking point, add shrimp and stir-fry until color changes. Remove shrimp to a clean plate. Discard ginger slices.
2. Remove all but 1 tablespoon oil from wok, add scallion and garlic, stir-fry using medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sauce and shrimp. Stir-fry until shrimp is cooked and coated with sauce. Serve at once.
NOTE: Increase broth for sauce to 4 tablespoons if using a frying pan instead of a wok.
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Kitchen Hint – Freezer Food Safety
This kitchen hint was posted on 10/27/12. You may wish to check it out if you are in the path of winter storm Nemo. Click here to view post
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