Темы по английскому
EATING TRADITIONS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
In most of Asia, especially China, Korea, and Vietnam, the New Year
begins with the first full moon of the first Chinese lunar month. Special
foods are eaten in each region.
In China, foods are prepared ahead (using a knife during New Year's
might "cut luck") and include dishes with names that sound auspicious, such
as tangerines (good fortune), fish (surplus), and chestnuts (profit).
Meats, fried dishes (such as fried rice dumplings), and alcoholic beverages
(which are all considered yang, or strong foods) are also common. In Korea,
soup containing small glutinous rice cakes or steamed dumplings are a must.
In Vietnam, bahn chung, a glutinous rice cake filled with meat and beans
cooked in banana leaves is a New Year's specialty. Pork with lotus root and
shark fin soup are also favored. Small mandarin trees in full fruit are
purchased for each home as a sign of hospitality.
One tradition practiced in both China and Vietnam has to do with the
annual report on the family's past activities to the gods, who then
determine the following year's fortune. In Chinese culture, an offering is
made a week before the New Year to the picture of the Chinese Kitchen God
hung in most homes. The food is usually sweet and sticky, so that when the
God departs to Heaven to make his report, he will only say favorable things
(in some regions the lips in the picture are actually smeared with honey or
malt). In Vietnam, it is Ong Tao (Spirit of the Hearth), he is represented
by 3 small stones and honored at his altar with a sweet soy bean soup and
sweet rice cakes.
The beginning of the New Year is celebrated by many cultures on
January 1st. Some celebrations, such as in the U.S., take place on the
evening before the new year, featuring drinking, sweets, and general
frivolity. In Spain and Portugal, it is customary to eat twelve grapes or
raisins at each stroke of the clock at midnight (a similar practice takes
place in the Philippines following the New Year's Eve fiesta meal, but only
7 grapes are eaten). In Poland, jelly doughnuts (paczki)are traditional of
New Year's Eve. In Scotland, New Year's Eve is called Hogmanay complete
with festive partying and foods such as triangular shortbread (calle
hogmanays), scones, bannocks, black bun, ginger bread, and haggis, a
pudding made from sheep's stomach stuffed with oatmeal and innards is
drenched in Scotch whiskey before it is eaten.
In Japan on New Year's day, 10 to 20 dishes, collectively called
Osechi ryori, are served. Each dish represents a different value desired
for the new year, such as fish eggs for fertility, root vegetables for
stability, black beans for health, kombu (seaweed) for happiness, and
mashed sweet potatoes to keep away the evil spirits. Otoso, a special rice
wine, is served. In many homes, mochi, a rice cake made by pounding hot
rice into a sticky dough is traditional. A Buddhist o sonae mochi may be
set up to preserve good luck and happiness in future generations. It
consists of a large mochi on the bottom, which is the foundation provided
by the older generation. A smaller mochi representing the younger
generation is placed on top, followed by a tangerine symbolizing the
generations to come.
In Greece, a sweet bread called vasilopitta is prepared with a coin
baked into it for New Year's. The person who gets the piece with the coin
in has good luck in the upcoming year. In the U.S. South, black-eyed peas
(sometimes known as hoppin' johns) are traditionally served for luck on New
Year's day. Throughout much of the world, the beginning of the new year is
seen as an opportunity to celebrate life and influence the future!