Feb 2019 - Chinese New Year Gathering



This year, 2019 Chinese New Year festival fell on Feb. 5. In China, each lunar cycle has 60 years and 12 years is regarded as a small cycle. Each of the 12 years is defined by an animal sign: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. 2019 is the Year of the Boar. In Malaysia the Chinese observe the same features but they also have some of their own traditional practices observed.
The Enak Members of the Malaysian Culture Group celebrated this auspicious day on 14th Feb. Ming Goh again opened the doors to her luxurious home for our get together. Members and a couple of guests, dressed in various shades of red started pouring in by 11:00 for an early start. All in there were about 40 people in her mansion which was decorated specially for celebrating the Chinese New Year with a huge lion, lovely banners and auspicious plants.
Since the priority of the celebration of this festival is of course food, the organizers and sponsors of this occasion namely Rosemary, Ming and all local and expat Chinese Enakkers contributed a variety of traditional Chinese New Year finger food, some of which were of great significance (for example the New Year Cake- Nian Kuo and Round Rice Balls or Tung Yuen). Christine Jokelo explained that Rice Balls or Tung Yuenis traditionally served in China for the Chinese New Year. The round shape stands for completeness and family reunion. The Tung Yuen had sesame, green pea or peanut fillings. They were delicious.

A couple of well wishers also contributed to the spread. The popular Malaysian snacks laid out were Pineapple Tarts, Peanut Cookies,Kuih Bangkit (baked rice flour cookies) and Kuih Kapit ( Love Letters). There were other auspicious snacks like yam fritters, peanuts and fruits. Rosemary also brought in some tasty curry puffs, wontons and rainbow agar-agar.
The highlight of the function was of course experiencing the Loh Hei or tossing of the Yee Sang or Good Luck Salad. This time we kept it to vegetarian so all could partake. There were  4 sessions of tossing in groups of 8-10. Members enjoyed mixing and tossing with their chop sticks and shouting out cheers of a variety of good wishes for the year.
After feasting and the photo sessions members began heading home around 2pm with red ang pow packets and oranges from Ming.
A sincere thank you to Ming, Rosemary and our Chinese Enak members for this lovely experience.
By Jagdev Kaur Jassal