Around this time last year I was in West Los Angeles celebrating Chinese New Year with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling Asian Kitchen. Chef Chin not only cooked up a mean family-style dinner, but she also taught us all about Chinese New Year traditions and superstitions.
I do my best to introduce other cultures into my son’s upbringing since there’s so much more to this world than our little corner of the world and holidays are some of the best ways to do this!
On February 5th we’re celebrating the Year of the Pig and, in anticipation, we made some crafts as a family and talked about the things I learned at last year’s event.
Step 1: Get Busy with Crafts
Since Fox loves art and working with his hands, I cut out some pieces for him to assemble while we talked. He made a googly-eyed pig after helping me construct a paper chain dragon, both of which he proudly displayed in his room.
Step 2: Fill Our Bellies
Fox was very impressed with the mandarin pyramid that awaited him on his crafting table. I explained to him that mandarins are said to bring luck during the Chinese New Year and he agreed we should have plenty with a display like that.
While we crafted, my husband cooked up some Ling Ling Fried Potstickers that we bought at our local Tops Friendly Markets. They come in chicken, pork, and vegetarian, although we always wind up with the chicken version in our cart. Chef Chin made these for us as appetizers before the big dinner and I was amazed at how well they crisp up and how fast they are to make. These are perfect for passing at a party, especially if you’re celebrating the Year of the Pig with friends and family! They also come with a yummy dipping sauce so you don’t have to worry about buying an extra item at the store.
Step 3: Let’s Talk Traditions + Superstitions
While we ate and crafted, we talked about some of the traditions and superstitions surrounding Chinese New Year. Here are some of my favorites:
Sweeping and cleaning are forbidden — Make sure your house is clean ahead of the holiday, otherwise you’ll sweep all your luck out the door if you’re tidying up day of.
Don’t wash your hair — You’ll wash away good luck.
Buy yourself some new shoes and clothes — preferably red!
If you were born during the Year of the Pig (1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) you are said to be compassionate, generous, and diligent. If you were, do you think that rings true for you?