China Tea House Mechanicsburg PA
By special arrangement for Slow Food Harrisburg
Chinese New Year Dinner & Entertainment
Friday, February 26, 6:30 pm
China Tea House
610 Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Chinese New Year is the most important of traditional Chinese festivals. It is a 15-day celebration that begins each year in January or February, according to the lunar calendar. In 2010, festivities welcoming in the Year of the Tiger begin on Feb. 14. People spend lavishly on presents, decorations, food and clothing. Just before the New Year, houses are cleaned thoroughly to sweep out any bad fortune and make way for good luck. In Buddhist and Taoist homes in China, sweets are offered to the deities in the hope that they will look kindly on the family in the coming year.
Perhaps the biggest event of Chinese New Year is the New Year’s eve dinner. Our meal at the China Tea House comes a little later in the 15-day period. We aim to merge two traditions in the food offered: the Cantonese tradition of dim sum and dishes prepared particularly for Chinese New Year. China Tea House specializes in dim sum, which is the Chinese equivalent of tapas. In Canton, Hong Kong, and in Chinatowns across the world, carts laden with a variety of small dishes are rolled through the dining room. Guests point to the dishes they want. At the end of the meal the number of plates and their shape (each shape represents a different price) determine the total bill for the table. At our dinner, we will enjoy a selection of approximately ten meat, seafood, vegetable and sweet dim sum dishes. Try several or try all of them! In addition, the chef will prepare more substantial dishes that represent foods eaten during Chinese New year in southern China.
John Dhong from the Harrisburg Chinese-American Association will entertain us on the erhu, a traditional Chinese two-stringed instrument that is played on the lap while sitting down. It is used extensively as both a solo and an ensemble instrument in Chinese music.