This year 2016, I and Mr. Panda are already celebrating our eighth Chinese New Year together. We started with the year of the ox in 2009, and we will start over with all the Zodiac signs once again in a few years. Before 2009, I did not even know a separate Chinese New Year next to my Western New Year existed. Worldly innocent mountain girl me only found out about Persian New Year even later on. As an otaku who is crazy about a fan who likes Japanese culture, I was at least aware of the Zodiac signs, but still I was felt confident that they changed every year as the years changed in Japan. Little did I know that there was a different calendar system in a country new the Land of the Rising Sun. Little did I know that I would soon be blessed with two entirely different New Year celebrations every year.

In January 2009, right after we celebrated our first Western New Year together, Mr. Panda told me that he wanted to bring me to a party with his family and other Hong Kong friends by the beginning of February. He bragged about all the awesome food we would be going to eat at a restaurant called ‘Hong Kong Keller’, which translates to ‘Hong Kong cellar’. And guess what? It was actually located in a few small cellar rooms in a somewhat shady urban residential district, quite close to a now former spot known for its many prostitutes strolling around there every night back then. And only when we were on our way, he revealed “Oh yeah, by the way, we are going to celebrate Chinese New Year today! I think I forgot to tell you.” … “What??? Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Despite my unwanted ignorance of what to celebrate on that day, almost all people welcomed me warm-hearted, expect for a few grumpy old Chinese grandpas who could not handle the gweilo, the not so Chinese intruder.

Steamed and fried Dim Sum, exotic vegetables I never had seen before in my life, an over dimensional steamed carp in the middle of every table, new spices and strange smells. Long story short, I never overate myself as much as never before on this certain day. I literally experienced my first “Oh my god I am going to explode!” and “Oh my god I feel dizzy because I ate too much!” moments after I ate all these delicious little dumplings and other traditional Hong Kong dishes which tastes I never experienced before. Back then I did not even dare to think of that I would experience something delicious like this many times from now on.

Unfortunately, times have changed and the restaurant had to close down due to economic reasons. You could probably say Viennese people were still not mature enough for the true HK foodie experience, namely cheap and delicious traditional Hong Kong food in a super shady and rundown place. Since they closed down, the small Hong Kong community I since then belong to is forced to switch to a different restaurant in Vienna every year as we could not find a comparable place yet. Nonetheless we all, more or less, meet at least once a year for Chinese New Year and eat together. But what will be different in 2016 is going to be that Mr. Panda and I will net join their party in Vienna. We will be in Hong Kong and we will finally be able to experience firsthand how ‘Gùng héi faat chōi!’ is going to be celebrated there. After a long time Mr. Panda is also once again going to be there for New Year celebration, and I am sure we both will be going to have an awesome and festive time together.

That said, 恭喜發財Gùng héi faat chōi’ 2016 to all of you!

How do you normally celebrate Chinese New Year? Do you even celebrate it at all? I am really looking forward to hear your stories.

I hope you all will have a great next week with your family and friends. From my experience, visiting all the relatives is normally a stressful for me, so my darling friend drew me a coloring picture after I told her that I read about on Nicki Chen’s blog and thought it was a lovely idea to come down and try to forget all my daily sorrows. Thank you so much! I was so surprised and over the moon, that I want to share it with all of you – with her permission of course. I would love to see you print it out, color it and share it with me on my Facebook wall, Twitter or Instagram. Oh and when you are already there, it would be great if you could like my pages and motivate me to share more funny moments and awesome Hong Kong pictures with you. I am really looking forward to see you there too.

As we are both so excited to be able to spend Chinese New Year in Hong Kong I would like to share a Chinese New Year themed surprise gift from Hong Kong as giveaway with one of you. I will raffle one small surprise gift off among all of you who took your time read my post, like it or tell me how you spend the holidays, either as a comment on my blog or on Social Media, as I am really eager to know. Oh, and please don’t forget to like my pages!

Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Year of the Monkey, 恭喜發財, Adult Coloring picture, Hong Kong, Panda, Cat

Lottery closed on Feb. 25th 2016.

As I did not have time to read into how Rafflecopter works, I made a really old-school lottery. This was also possible as only few people took part. Next time, I’ll use Rafflecopter, I promise! The Winner is Zofia, I have already contacted her via Facebook. Thanks a lot!

 

My first Chinese New Year Party and a ‘Happy Chinese New Year from the Panda’ coloring picture for all of you
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20 thoughts on “My first Chinese New Year Party and a ‘Happy Chinese New Year from the Panda’ coloring picture for all of you

  • February 8, 2016 at 7:10
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    Good grief, what is it about boyfriends of Chinese descent hoarding information about Chinese New Year?! Andy did the same thing as Mr. Panda. I had no idea it was Chinese New Year until the lion started dancing in front of the restaurant. And I had to hit up the man’s cousins for information. And now I’m the one who insists we celebrate it every year. (I love holidays.)

    Reply
    • February 8, 2016 at 8:38
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      Somehow they like to keep important information to themselves. The question is…. Why?
      It also turned out that I was the one to force him to celebrate either Austrian and Chinese traditions together.

      Reply
  • February 8, 2016 at 13:14
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    Happy Lunar New Year! It must be very exciting for you to celebrate in Hong Kong this year. If it is anything like Taiwan, it is alive with activities and celebration.

    It is too bad the original restaurant you celebrated your CNY has since closed. It may have been in a shady area, but I have learned that not all hidden gems are flashy restaurants.

    My CNY was one to remember. It was one of happiness and joy. We shared the baby news with the in-laws and the way we shared the news turned out better than I could have ever imagined. 🙂

    Reply
    • February 23, 2016 at 21:21
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      Happy belated Lunar New Year! I still need to read your post about you sharing the news – so looking forward to it.

      Reply
  • February 8, 2016 at 16:41
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    celebrated with family

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    • February 23, 2016 at 21:22
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      Great! I hope you had nice food and got red envelopes. 😀

      Reply
  • February 9, 2016 at 12:38
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    I found about this from author Leigh Anderson..I don’t really celebrate Chinese New Year (other than reading these blog posts and learning about it) just stopping by to say hello!

    Reply
    • February 23, 2016 at 21:23
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      Thanks for stopping by! I don’t know much about CNY, I need to educate myself a little more these days. 😀

      Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 0:23
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    From experience and observation, it’s generally the women in a relationship who has to act as Social Secretary or the Tour Guide on holiday. But I have not complained as it has not come out of my pocket. I guess I feel duty bound.

    Reply
    • February 23, 2016 at 21:24
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      We probably just don’t like to waste our precious time. 🙂

      Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 21:40
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    We just spend it at home watching the CCTV New Year Gala and stuffing ourselves full with the different meals my wife had prepared. During the past years we didnt even managed that! Only once we attended a New Year Celebration in Helsinki and that was right after we got together in 2010

    Reply
    • February 23, 2016 at 21:26
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      It is only about the food anyway. 😉
      Exacty sounds like we spend our New Year on 31/12.

      Reply
  • February 12, 2016 at 10:06
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    I usually just make dumplings and egg rolls. Nothing real special.

    Reply
    • February 23, 2016 at 21:27
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      You take your time to cook and know how to make dumplings! That’s more than I do and know. Learning how to make other dumplings than wonton is on my 2016 To-Do-list. Wish me luck, please!

      Reply
  • February 13, 2016 at 8:59
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    My husband and I are not that into holidays (except for Halloween. That’s our BIG thing), but we are looking forward to starting some new Christmas/CNY traditions with our kids this year.

    Reply
    • February 23, 2016 at 21:34
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      The more you can celebrate, the better. 🙂
      Hopefully you can enjoy other occasions the same as you do with Halloween. (And eat a lot.)

      Reply
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