Friday, February 12, 2010

Chinese Valentine's Day!

Wow, wow, wow. Chinese New Year's and Valentine's Day both fall on Sunday, February 14, this year. I am not sure what it means for lovers that they are sharing their day with the Year of the Tiger but I am guessing that the lines at the better Chinese restaurants will be even longer than the lines at True Thai this Sunday. I think that couples celebrating Valentine's Day also need to know that the official gemstone for the Year of the Tiger is the diamond!

Were you born in a Year of the Tiger? Here is a chart that will help you to figure it out:

• 8 February 1902 - 28 January 1903: Water Tiger
• 26 January 1914 - 13 February 1915: Wood Tiger
• 13 February 1926 - 1 February 1927: Fire Tiger
• 31 January 1938 - 18 February 1939: Earth Tiger
• 17 February 1950 - 5 February 1951: Metal Tiger
• 5 February 1962 - 24 January 1963: Water Tiger
• 23 January 1974 - 10 February 1975: Wood Tiger
• 9 February 1986 - 28 January 1987: Fire Tiger
• 28 January 1998 - 15 February 1999: Earth Tiger
• 14 February 2010 - 2 February 2011: Metal Tiger

What does all this mean? Mostly it means that Chinese astrologers make good money this time of year. This, by the way, is not just any Year of the Tiger, this is the Year of the Golden Tiger! Here is what they say about people born in the Year of the Tiger:
Tiger people are sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy. They can be extremely short-tempered, however. Other people have great respect for them, but sometimes tiger people come into conflict with older people or those in authority. sometimes Tiger people cannot make up their minds, which can result in a poor, hasty decision or a sound decision arrived at too late. They are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful. Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs.
The Los Angeles Times says that Chinese New Year's has fallen on Valentine's Day only three times in the last hundred years, and will not do so again until 2030.

I am not Chinese so this all seems kind of silly to me. Thai people, however, do celebrate Valentine's Day. This Sunday True Thai will focus on Valentine's Day, a holiday they will be celebrating in Bangkok in much the same way Americans do. (This is a family blog so I will not go into details!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dried fruit for Chinese New Year's!

The new ya pears are in and I just had some mangosteens for lunch but for me the most exciting food news of the week is that True Thai is going to have dried persimmons in our lunch buffet this Friday!

OK, maybe you would rather have ya pears and mangosteens but they're in season now and will be around for a while. Dried persimmons, on the other hand, only come once a year and are eaten by Asians to help celebrate Chinese New Year's which will be this Sunday, February 14.

Maybe you have not heard of dried persimmons before, but if you put them into Google you get 229,000 responses. If you use the Chinese words for dried persimmons [干柿子], you may get even more. In China, there are over 2,000 kinds of persimmons. Chinese immigrants brought persimmons to California in the mid 1800s. Persimmons do not like snow, and are not fond of extreme heat.

Since there are so many different kinds of persimmons, there are many different kinds of persimmon trees. I thought this one looked pretty:

So remember: this Friday True Thai will celebrate Chinese New Year's by having dried persimmons in our buffet. Friday I will post again to let you know more about Sunday's Chinese New Year's/Valentine's Day celebration at True Thai.