The Year of the Ram brings some uncertainty and mystery, but promises to be somewhat peaceful. Of course, this varies depending which Animal Sign you were born under. Let’s see together what your Year of the Ram Horoscope holds for you. If you aren’t sure, simply look-up the year you are born in to locate your Animal Sign. Although I normally rely on Singapore’s GEOMANCY HUT, this year they didn’t release a 2015 Horoscope. I did snoop around and found this Horoscope on MYSTIC SCRIPTS which is v. easy to understand, clear and straight-forward. Click here to read. Chinese New Year is celebrated this year on Thursday, February 19, 2015.
And now to share with you some things which are amazing and Chinese, because I’m proud of my People!
G.E.M. (an acronym for “Get Everybody Moving”) might be pint-sized, but this adorable 23-year-old Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist is perhaps the greatest Musical Act to come out of Asia in quite some time. Hong Kong-born Gloria Tang has become an international sensation among the Chinese Community thanks to some smart Internet-based marketing which made her a viral success. Her Vocals are phenomenal, but equally she is a magnificent Entertainer. I encourage you to check-out a couple samples of her singing below. You will be blown away and I’m extremely-proud as a Fan to see her great success. She is an absolute Standout in a Market filled with Beauty Pageant Contestants-turned-Singers, Actors-turned Singers and Children of prominent Celebs who get a recording contract by default. Literally every Song coming out of Hong Kong sounds the same right now, but G.E.M. (seen top left in collage) is different.
G.E.M. ft. Jason Mraz – LUCKY
G.E.M. – If I Were a Boy
CHINESE NEW YEAR FOODS
If you visit any Chinese Grocer (i.e. Loblaws-owned T&T) around this time of year, you will find right by the Cash, piles of Chinese New Year Candies. Growing-up, my Mom always brought home these amazing treats and I think you absolutely must try these!
Su Xin Tang (translation: Flaky Heart Candies, top-right in collage)
One-part pastry, one part-candy, these usually come in a large bag of 12 flavours including Black Sesame, Almond, Coffee, Peanut, Coconut, Mixed Nuts, Cola, etc. They are delectably sweet, firm and crispy. Kinda like the center of a Crispy Crunch! Fave.
Li Shi Tang(translation: Lucky Candies, bottom-left in collage)
They taste of strawberry and almost a bit floral-like, which is fitting in that Cherry Blossoms often signify luck during Chinese New Year. If you’ve ever had a Peach Blossom Tea Latte at Starbucks in its limited edition run, I’d equate its flavour to being similar to these hard and chewy delights. They are packaged charmingly in shiny Red Envelopes similar to those that we receive from our married Family members – an incentive to remain single as only those married have to give them out at Chinese New Year!
Yu Tou Gao(translation: Taro Cake, second from top-left in collage)
Ube quickly is catching-on in these parts as a new “it” flavour (I’ve heard of Ube-flavoured Doughnuts at some Hipster Shops) so if you’ve tried the Purple Yam in some incarnation, you’ll sorta get what to expect with Taro as they are similar. They often serve this at DimSum during Lunch, but for me it is synonymous with Chinese New Year. It is savoury, glutinous and outright delicious with small cubes of the Sweet Potato cut into the mixture; best served pan-fried.
CHINESE NEW YEAR ORNAMENTS
Although Alpacas aren’t Lambs, they are friends of the latter in that Alpacas protect baby Lambs from preying Foxes. We think these Alpaca Stuffies (bottom-center in collage) from Japan named ALPACASSOare absolutely adorable! Kelly Clarkson recently was in-town and I bought one for her Daughter River Rose and she was in love (read more)! Shop online here. Broadcast Books sells these at Pacific Mall for those of you in Toronto/Markham. Trinkets are a must to celebrate!
From acclaimed Director Zhang Yi Mou, COMING HOME was a critical success at TIFF ’14. Although Mongrel Media won’t be releasing the Drama till later this year in Canada, here is a Preview of the heartbreaking tale of separation among a Family during the Cultural Revolution, starring Queen of Chinese Cinema, Gong Li (seen bottom-right in collage)and Chen Dao Ming.
A continuation of the ratings-smash TVB Series, which had a successful two-installments in Hong Kong, TRIUMPH IN THE SKIES (top, second from left in collage) is all the rage right now in Hong Kong as it is set to open Chinese New Year Holiday Weekend, expected to pull-in huge numbers. Its soapy Plot centers on a group of Flight Attendants and Pilots and their complicated love lives and career challenges. It brings together an A-List Cast including Golden Horse Award (Asia’s Oscars) Winning Actor Francis Ng, Chinese Pop MegastarSammi Cheng, red-hot TV Actor Julian Cheung and Award-winning TV Actress Charmaine Sheh.