Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Xiao lung bao crazy 

We didn't do much while in Taipei - mostly getting over jet lag, seeing lots of relatives and eating lots of xiao lung bao (little dragon dumplings) and other really good Chinese food (our other favorite was Slack Season for Tan Tsi noodles). We were particularly intrigued by the famous and very touristy Din Tai Fung, a famous dumpling house in Taiwan. More interestingly, there was a knockoff opened by a former chef called "Din Tai Yuen". Both restaurants used the same Chinese character for "din". But the "tai" character in "Din Tai Fung uses the "tai" character from "Thailand", while "Din Tai Yuen" uses the "tai" character from "sun"! That similarity seemed ridiculously aggregious to us!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Chinese Holidays 

Here are some important Chinese holidays to remember, all based on the lunar calendar (you have to look at one to know what date it translates to on the western calendar because it changes every year):

1/1 - New Year - wear new clothes (esp. red), married folks give lai see (red envelopes) to the younger generation, everything should be clean, don't wash hair; eat vegetarian, stay with your immediate family; if married, stay with your married family; eat vegetarian
1/2 - Hoi Neen - eat the first meal together with family to open the year to celebrate the Chinese New Year together, good luck to eat chicken; one of most important Chinese holidays
1/5 - 7; can visit your in-laws
1/7 - Everybody's Birthday
1/13 - "Sum Hung Jook" - eating jook on this day will make you intelligent
1/15 - Yeen Siu jeet/Ching Yung jeet/lantern festival - Chinese Valentine's Day - girls couldn't leave house so can only go out on that one night and see lanterns that were put up
2nd or 3rd month (must look at Chinese calendar but close to Easter) - Ching Ming - visit ancestors at the cemetary
1/28 - Anna's birthday
3/18 - Wayne's birthday
3/28 - William's birthday
4/17 - Rich's birthday
5/1 or 5 - eat jung, Dragon Boat festival
5/11 - Mom's BD
7/26 - Sebastian's birthday
8/15 - Jung Chow jeet or Moon festival; eat moon cakes, or celebrate with family dinner; one of most important Chinese holidays
9/9 - Chung Yeung festival - visit ancestors at the cemetary
9/14 - Grandma's birthday
9/18 - Dad's birthday
10/7 - Gaj's birthday
10/13 - My birthday
12/13 - Isabella's birthday
3 days before Christmas - Dung Jee - Winter Solstice; eat tong yuen so you keep warm for the winter
12/30 - "Hon Neen" - last day of the year; eat dinner with family to close year together; probably the most important family meal