MANDARIN MADNESS - CELEBRATING CHINESE NEW YEAR - GONG XI FA CAI
A day more to go and we will be welcoming the Chinese New Year (Year of the Goat among their 12 zodiacs) on Feb 19th 2015. Gong Xi Fa Cai - means Happy New Year in Mandarin. Goat is an Earth sign and this Year signifies the year of a Wood Goat that is a cyclic occurrence once in 60 years. Click here to know more.
Spring Festival, widely known as Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival celebrated by families in China and by Chinese families living in the South East Asian belts. The 15 day festival has a 4000 year old history and declared public holiday for 8 days when people travel back to meet their families for Reunion Dinner.
Like Indians, Chinese also follow the Lunar Calendar to mark the beginning of a New year. The celebration is extended for 15 days giving significant importance to different kinds of activities specific to each day. Red colour is the main theme of the festival and the Chinese consider Red to be an auspicious colour. Every house is decorated with red coloured couplets and lanterns with the year's symbol imprinted on it.
The first day is to welcome deities from heaven to seek blessings. House cleaning is done on the first day. Lanterns and couplets are hung on the second day and fire crackers are set off . Distribution of Red Envelopes with cash is (Ang Bow) is a very common practice. (To know more about Chinese New Year, click here.)
Oranges and Pineapples are holy fruits on this occasion and oranges, especially, are exchanged as gifts (symbolizing gold). These special Mandarin oranges are sold in plenty in boxes and believe me, each orange is as sweet as the other. We do not get such oranges on the other seasons of the year.
One cannot resist the sweetness of these oranges that one fruit at a time is too less to consume... 4 or 5 is a good number for a single serve. :)
Squeezing some fresh juice from these delicious ones is simply refreshing !!! The oranges are really sweet that you need not add even a pinch of sugar to it. Read on...
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Recipe Category: Beverage
Yields: Close to 1 liter
12 Honey Mandarin oranges
A pinch of salt for each serving
Chopped Betel leaves for garnishing
- Slice one Orange at a time and squeeze out the juice using a citrus press.
- Fill the serving glass and add a pinch of salt.
- Top with chopped betel leaves.
- Serve immediately.
- Always squeeze Oranges and other citrus fruits one at a time to preserve Vitamin C. Please remember that Vitamin C is destroyed by air, water and exposed surfaces rapidly.
- Adding betel leaves gives a nice tingling sensation to the mouth and leaves you feeling refreshed.