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!

Advertisements

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!


Happy Year of the Goat!

You know how I often complain that Vietnam doesn’t have enough food-based holidays? I think I know why now. It’s because the Lunar New Year is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Super Bowl all rolled into one. I’m currently stuffing my face and have been for the last three days or so. We had kind of a pre-New Year feast last weekend (when we made the rice cakes), we had one last night (for New Year’s Eve), we had one today (for New Year), and we’re going to have another one the day after tomorrow (for the end of the Lunar New Year holiday). So please, enjoy the photos of the feasts, the spring flowers in our garden, and the firework display, while I go sleep this off.

rice cakes by 14 shades of grey

kalanchoe flower by 14 shades of grey

camelia by 14 shades of grey

chrysanthemum by 14 shades of grey

camelias by 14 shades of greychrysanthemums by 14 shades of grey

camelia and bees by 14 shades of greypeach blossoms by 14 shades of grey

barbeque by 14 shades of greysticky rice by 14 shades of grey

barbequed meat by 14 shades of greyBarbequed pork and sticky rice cooked in bamboo stalks

new year feast by 14 shades of greynew year feast by 14 shades of grey
Bamboo shoot soup and sticky rice

new year feast by 14 shades of greyGlass noodle salad

new year feast by 14 shades of greynew year feast by 14 shades of grey
Slow-cooked pork and spring rolls

new year feast by 14 shades of greyBeef and vegetable stir-fry

new year feast by 14 shades of greyBraised chicken

firework by 14 shades of grey

firework by 14 shades of greyfirework by 14 shades of grey
Yeah, that’s a smiley face/Joker firework

firework by 14 shades of grey


New Year Flowers

camellia and bee by 14 shades of grey

peach blossoms by 14 shades of greypetunia by 14 shades of grey

wild banana blossoms by 14 shades of grey

  chrysanthemums by 14 shades of greycamellias by 14 shades of grey

rose by 14 shades of greygerbera by 14 shades of grey

Just some random photos of the flowers inside and outside our house. It has been unusually warm lately, so all the flowers are in bloom, and that was all the decoration we needed for the Lunar New Year celebration.

Anyway, the break is winding down, and everybody is going back to work tomorrow. I won’t have to get back to my students until the next after next (one of the perks of working at a college, breaks are much longer), though I’m getting back to my script reading job, so I guess the break is over for me too. But what a great, relaxing break it was. I didn’t do anything much except watching TV and snacking all day, but after all, isn’t that the best way to spend a vacation?

Just to show that I haven’t neglected the blogging world altogether, here’s a guest post I did for Eccentric Owl. I’ll try to be back later this week with an outfit post too.

And finally, to close off the Lunar New Year celebration, here’s a picture of my niece in a traditional Vietnamese tunic hefting a rice cake – this is as typical a Lunar New Year photo as it can get:

niece by 14 shades of grey


Lunar New Year: The Celebration

The last in the Lunar New Year posts is some pictures of the fireworks (we’re lucky to live close to the National Stadium where the biggest firework display is), and of course, the most important part of any holiday (in my opinion, at least) – the food. I was lucky I remembered to take photos of the food at all before they were all consumed. Sorry they look kinda like stock photos with no people – my family are all camera-shy I’m afraid 🙂

lunar new year - fireworks - by 14 shades of greylunar new year - fireworks - by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year - fireworks - by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year - candied fruits - by 14 shades of greylunar new year - feast - by 14 shades of grey

lunar new year - feast - by 14 shades of greylunar new year - rice cake - by 14 shades of grey

And that’s it! Happy the year of the Snake!