“My favorite Chinese New Year tradition is the hanging of the red lanterns.” – Praneeth, India

“I like visiting my relatives’ families on the Lunar New Year. Actually, it is called Tsagaan Sar which means White Moon. Visiting our relatives enables us to see the new members of the extended families. My favorite cuisine is a Mongolian traditional food which is called buuz. It is like a dumpling with meat inside, but it is bigger and tastier than dumplings.” –Bayarmaa, Mongolia

“There is a food that Mongolians call buuz, it’s like as dumpling. It is delicious. For our new year celebrations, all of the family relatives gather in the elder’s house and you have the opportunity to get to know about your extended family.” –Khuder, Mongolia

*Thank you to VIU students for sharing their favorite aspects of the Lunar New Year.

The Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) which literally translates to “pass the year,” is January 28th. The New Year is a significant holiday, and traditional celebrations begin on the evening preceding the first day until the 15th day of the first calendar month ending with the Lantern Festival. Chinese families traditionally will gather for an annual reunion dinner and cleanse the family home to sweep away back luck and make way for good luck. The celebration also traditionally serves as a time to honor family ancestors.
This year will begin the Year of the Rooster. 2017 is specifically a “fire” rooster year and persons born under this sign are said to be observant and hardworking.
Please join VIU, as we celebrate the New Year with a Diversity Luncheon on Thursday, February 9th from 11:30am to 1pm. More details can be found on the VIU activities calendar at: http://viu.edu/g-calendar.html

Want to make your own traditional buuz to celebrate the new year? Here is an easy recipe to make at home! Recipe provided by Epicurious.

TOTAL TIME
1 hour and 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS
3 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
2 tablespoon Salt for dough
1 1/2 cup Water
1 1/2 pounds Ground lamb
1 1/2 cups Onion
3 pieces Scallions
4 cloves Garlic
3 tablespoons Ground coriander
3 tablespoons Salt for filling
1 teaspoon Ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  • In a medium size bowl mix together flour and salt. Make a well in the center and gradually pour in water. Pull in flour from the side of the bowl until well mixed in and you have formed a dough.
  • Place dough on a clean work surface and knead with your hands until dough is smooth. Add more flour or water if necessary.
  • Place dough in a bowl, cover and allow the dough to rest for one hour in the refrigerator before using.
  • In a large bowl, combine lamb, onion, scallions, garlic, coriander, salt, and pepper. Mix until everything is well combined.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator, knead for about a minute then roll it out into a log about 1-inch in diameter.
  • Cut the roll into 1-inch slices.
  • Roll slice into a ball and lightly dust with flour. Flatten it a bit, then roll it out into a circle about 4-inches in diameter. Make the center slightly thicker than the edge.
  • Hold one dough circle in your hand (left hand for righties and vice versa for south paws) and place about a teaspoon of filling in the center.
  • Pinch the edge on one side, then create another fold next to it.
  • Continue this way while rotating the buuz as you go along.
  • If done correctly (and we had our issues) there will be a small opening in the center of the top.
  • Dip the bottom of each buuz into a bit of oil, or line a steamer rack with lettuce so that buuz does not stick to the rack. Arrange buuz on a rack so that they do not touch. We used a bamboo steamer. If you don’t have one, a flat pasta strainer or even a cake rack would work just as well.
  • Place the steamer in a pan or wok that has about 2-inches of water in the bottom. Water should not touch the dumplings.
  • Bring water to a simmer, place steamer into the pan and put the lid on the steamer.
  • Steam for 20 minutes without removing the lid.