Year Of The Rat

Technically, it’s not the Year of the Rat until tomorrow, but for us, the celebration has started since last week, after the Kitchen God’s farewell ceremony on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month (in Vietnamese mythology, each household has a kitchen god, and a week before the New Year, he will return to Heaven to report on the family’s activities to the Jade Emperor, who will reward or punish the family accordingly, so every family has to offer the Kitchen God a great feast in the hope that he’ll put in a good word for them.) I’m helping my family to prepare for New Year’s Eve, so here are some photos of a New Year flower market for you guys to enjoy. Regular posting will resume next week; see you then!


Year Of The Pig

It’s the Lunar New Year holiday here in Vietnam, and in the spirit of the Year of the Pig, I’m taking the rest of the week off to stuff my face and lounge around doing nothing. See you guys next Monday!


Year Of The Dog

Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Dog, so here is a picture of my dog looking all prim and proper and not her usual goofy self:

And some shots of the celebration and decorations:

My grandma’s house, decorated with the traditional kumquat tree

Traditional altar at my grandma’s house – the sugar canes are supposed to be walking sticks for the spirits of our ancestors

Chưng cakes ready to be boiled

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have food to eat and packing to do. There will be SIA posts up next week, so stay tuned!


Year Of The Rooster

It’s not the Year of the Rooster until tomorrow, but I know I would be too busy celebrating (i.e. stuffing my face), so here are some photos from yesterday’s Lunar New Year market that I went with my sister. This year, my dad was so busy that all of our preparations were done beforehand, so there wasn’t that exciting rush in the few days leading up to the New Year. To make up for it, my sister and I decided to go to the Old Quarter to check out the traditional market there – not because we needed to buy anything, but because we simply wanted to bask in that atmosphere. It was quite fun, but insanely crowded. I probably wouldn’t brave it if my sister hadn’t insisted.

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of greyAn often-encountered sight around the Lunar New Year: huge pots of chưng cakes boiling away

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey
Antique stalls

lunar new year market by 14 shades of greyPiggy banks (kids are often given piggy banks at the start of a new year, for their lucky money)

lunar new year market by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year market by 14 shades of greyThese are not a Lunar New Year thing, but they’re too delicious not to be included – donut holes

So anyway, Happy the Year of the Rooster! I’ll be back next week with (hopefully) a couple of outfit posts!

year of the roosterOriginal art by my niece


Lunar New Year Snapshots

The Lunar New Year is technically over, but I’m still on break (one of the great things about teaching – you get longer holidays), so things are going to be pretty quiet around here this week and next. In the meantime, please enjoy a few snapshots of the Lunar New Year (there aren’t a lot of food photos because I was too busy eating!)

lunar new year - rice cakes by 14 shades of greylunar new year - rice cakes by 14 shades of grey
Leaves and bamboo strings ready for the rice cakes

lunar new year - rice cakes by 14 shades of greyThe finished products!

lunar new year - poinsettia by 14 shades of greylunar new year - tree by 14 shades of grey
Our garden enjoying the spring-like weather

lunar new year - fireworks by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year - fireworks by 14 shades of greyAnd more fireworks!

And that’s it. Happy Year of the Monkey!