The days leading up to Chinese New Year was a manic rush. There was so many rituals to do and food to make.
I had gotten my hair cut before arriving in Malaysia as tradition dictates that you can't get a hair cut during the 15 days of CNY. This is to prevent "cutting away" good fortune. Also, you need to wash your hair before CNY as you wont be able to on the first day, for the same reason.
Popo took me all around town gathering ingredients for dishes that has good symbolism for Chinese New Year. These things included fish, noodles, lots and lots of mandarins, eggs and birthday buns shaped and coloured like plums.
I had not been to the pasar (market) in a long time, so going there bought back alot of childhood memories. I remember all the toys, the dresses that we couldn't get in NZ and the wet horrible smells of food.
|A Malay lady drains brine off some pickled vegetables.|
|Mum inspects some noodles at Popo's favourite noodle shop.|
|The coconut milk shop|
|We go upstairs and have a quick lunch|
|I love love iced barley water. Notice the ice are hand splintered.|
On the house front, old lanterns needed to be replaced with new ones, altars needed to be cleaned and altars to be set up to welcome in the new year.
|An old decoration from last year at the altar.|
|Popo cleans the altar.|
|New decoration !|
|Also, popo got busy making acar. Sun dried vegetables that are then cooked with vinegar and tumeric and mixed with a chili paste.|
|Nian Gao with CNY stickers.|
|A peanuty pancake snack|
|Popo took it upon herself to make 120 Cha Yip Darn or Tea soaked eggs. They were left simmering for 2 days to slowly cook them.|
|Bahuru. Once you eat one, you can't stop|
|The canister is ready for fire|
|New incense are placed in the jar|
|Mum and Popo get the altar ready|
|Poetic blessings are stuck onto the doors.|
|Gold ingots are folded out of paper to be burnt for the gods.|
|The burnt incense ashes are left intact until it disintegrates. Here you can see the burnt scripture that reads" peace to the entire family."|
|Sau Bao, birthday buns made to look like chinese peaches|
|Mum made the 8 treasures dish|
|It has abalone, mushrooms, dried oysters, scallops, fat choy and lettuce. I have forgotten the last two ingredients.|
|Breakfast of dragonfruit and pandan nein gao|
|Popo drying out her own vegetables to be pickled.|
|Happy Chinese New Year!|