My Spring Festival in Harbin

Happy New Year!! (again)

If you are in Asia and you’re using the Lunar calendar then, finally, welcome to the new year. I feel like January was a fantastic trial run…I tried bullet journaling, reading every day, compiling lists, 10-minute morning meditation routines, etc. So, I now know what works for me and what doesn’t. I bodaciously re-wrote my New Year’s resolutions! Conveniently, I have moved on to the Lunar Calendar since I needed a do-over.



Anyway, since I spent the Gregorian calendar’s New Year’s Eve watching Scandal and drinking wine and channeling my inner gladiator, I thought it would be great to celebrate with friends and family this time ’round. My wonderful colleague/friend invited me over to her house for a traditional meal. Well, as traditional as it gets up north. See, the street parades, dancing dragons, and drums are for Hollywood, it seems.

When my friend told me that her mum would teach me how to make dumplings from scratch, I started frothing on the spot (*insert sound effects).


It was an all-around perfect day! From a friendly taxi driver asking me to take a photo of him, to making dumplings and chit chatting with the family to having a lovely glass of wine with loads of jokes and laughs. Now, this is Spring Festival (Guo Nian or Lunar New Year)! I loved how everyone had a task; everyone had a dish to prepare. The food was divine – all the good stuff on one table. I had a potbelly. The real itis.



Three Important Things to Note:

  1. There is a migration. An exodus. People just disappear and Harbin ends up being a ghost town.
  2. Fireworks. Firecrackers. Whatever you want to call them. They don’t stop. For two weeks. At the crack of dawn. When you go to bed. When you are going to the shops. All day, every day!
  3. Dumplings, Bai Jou, and Ma Jiang! That order. You’re welcome.

From me and the Zhao family, 新年快乐!





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