Friday, February 6, 2015

Baa….happy year of the sheep!

By Phyllis Louise Harris
February 2015

The Chinese Year of the Sheep starts February 19, 2015 and lasts until February 7, 2016. Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Barbara Walters and Orville Wright are a few celebrities born in the year of the sheep and so were you if you were born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, or this year after February 18.

According to legend, the sheep (or goat or ram as it is sometimes called) is an animal people like best because of its calm demeanor and association with good things. People born in the year of the sheep are polite, clever and live quietly. They may be cautious and economical, and all in all pleasant to be around. Lucky numbers are 3, 4 and 9; lucky colors are green, red and purple; and lucky flowers are carnation, primrose and Alice flower. Their zodiac sign compatibility is rabbit, horse and pig and at all costs they should avoid teaming up with someone born in the year of the ox or dog.

The Lunar New Year or in China the Spring Festival is the most celebrated of all Asian holidays. There are traditions galore and a multitude of lucky foods. Fortunately for the sheep, lamb is not one of those traditions.

Long noodles are among the luckiest foods promising long life. Oranges with their bright color close to gold are also good luck as is a whole fish (prosperity), and yuanbao (jiaozi or dumplings) filled with pork and cabbage promising prosperity. Shrimp and lobster with shells that turn pink are also lucky because of their color (red brings good fortune). Peanuts and lotus seeds are also considered lucky foods and often served to guests.

Celebrate the New Year at your favorite Chinese restaurant or at home with a menu of lucky food. It certainly makes February a lot more fun!

David Fong’s traditional Lion Dancers
In the Twin Cities celebrating the Lunar New Year is especially festive at David Fong’s Cantonese and American Cuisine in Bloomington where the Fong family continues its 50-year tradition of Lion Dances. This year the dancers perform February 19, 20, and 21 at 7:00 pm and on the 21st also at 8:30 pm. There is a special New Year menu along with the restaurant’s regular offerings. They have a full bar and plenty of free parking in the restaurant’s own lot at 94th and Lyndale. Reservations are required and there is already limited space left. Call 952-888-9294. Start the New Year of the Sheep with one of the happiest celebrations in town!

Jixiang Ruyi (May good fortune be according to your wish.)



Read more about Asian food in Minnesota and try more than 160 recipes in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875, now in bookstores and on

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