Wednesday, February 06, 2008
'Twas the Night Before Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year)
For the past four years, a few days before Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), I'd buy some fruits for my aunts and uncles for their altar offerings. Since superstitions abound during this time of year, I recalled when I had to buy fruit for the altar offering when my brother first bought a house. Silly me, when my mom asked which fruits I intended to buy, I said: apples (No! Apple, bom in Vietnamese sounds almost like bomb = unlucky!); pears (No! Pear, le in Vietnamese sounds almost like li which means disobedient = unlucky!); bananas (No! Banana, chuoi in Vietnamese sounds almost like luoi which means lazy = unlucky!). Umm, so which fruits can I get? Pineapples, thom in Vietnamese also means fragrant = lucky! Papayas, du du in Vietnamese also means plenty = lucky! Oranges, cam in Vietnamese doesn't sound like anything I can think of but from the Chinese side I knew that oranges were like gold = lucky! Phew! At least I got some things right. :P When I dropped off the fruit, my youngest aunt asked if I was making banana bread like I did last year. Oh no, no sweets, but I've got something even better that I brought over that night instead. ***** 1 year ago today, I got sick and made a very plain pot of chao (Vietnamese rice porridge).