chinese new year 2012 photo diary

tomorrow, january 23, 2012, is the official start of the lunar new year. a 15 day celebration, this lunar new year represents the beginning of the year of the dragon. an annual tradition, my family and i prepare for the new year by taking a trip to santa ana and shopping for festive food and cultural decorations.

at shun fat market in san gabriel

the lighting at half & half teahouse

on route to santa ana (land of the vietnamese) from san gabriel (home of the chinese)

"bo bia" - a form of vietnamese spring rolls, which i highly prefer. these were at a buddhist vegan restaurant

bread with curry. the little coconut presentation was adorable. being authentic usually means giving up pretty plating. also vegan.

probably one of my favorite dishes whether vegan or not. noodles with eggrolls in fish sauce. "bun cha gio"

every little vietnamese/chinese kid grows up playing with these snap poppers. i'm quite frankly not sure what the construction is but it looks like some white tissue with mild explosives wrapped inside. each box has about 20 pieces probably. they make a little explosion when thrown on the floor. 10 packs for $1. ahh childhood.

dragon heads

festive decorations

beautiful purple orchids, a personal fave

traditional yellow chrysanthemum flowers

my mom stopped me from buying this. and the would-be recipient agreed that they were lame. i was excited.

so many gift sets!

gold. glitter. red.

momma & me

very very asian

this shop had nifty signs. very white of them.

i almost got sold on these.

poppa and swissy.
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there was a vietnamese street food market. i was so sad that i had already eaten at the vegan place. she's frying one of my favorites! rice cakes!

lesser known fact, i actually love balut eggs. they're pretty harsh on the heart and cholesterol though.

pandan/coconut waffles. so fragrant and delicious!

meat skewers

again, very very bummed about already eating. :( SPAM MASUBI!??!

so freaking cute. wall decals at a little meat shop.

we burn money to send to our ancestors and gods. when i was younger, this was the highlight of my chinese new year.

hoping this was a typo. not sure who i'm sending and to where i'm sending them. half said heaven half said hell...

i'm going to take on the task of making this gelatinous dessert. basically, three layers of coconut juice and milk in a coconut. after eating the jello, you carve the coconut meat. so refreshing! from my hanh restaurant.

our main alter.

kaleidoscope of the above image.

chúc mừng nǎm mới

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