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!
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!