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Two reasons to love Chinese New Year — and only one of those is food!

Chinese New Year is almost upon us. The Year of the Monkey!

I’ve long ‘celebrated’ other cultures’ special days as a way of expanding my culinary skills and testing the taste buds. The kids grew up with globe-trotting dinners loosely based around special days in other countries: Irish stew on St Patrick’s Day; coq au vin perhaps for Bastille; maybe a satay for Indonesia’s Independence Day and pumpkin pie on America’s Thanksgiving. You get the idea. And of course, there was never any going past Chinese New Year for February.

Five people standing around a kitchen table making Chinese dumplings

Making dumplings for Chinese New Year

In 2015, our Chinese New Year took on an added dimension. A gorgeous young woman from Jiangsu province had joined our family as a homestay student around October the year before; Chinese New Year coincided with a visit to Brisbane from her mother. Around the kitchen table, we joined Shan and her mum and friends, and made dumplings. OMG, they were so good!

It’s based on conversations with Shan and her friends that I’m suggesting that if you’ve already trashed the 2016 New Year resolutions made little more than 30 days ago, maybe you can hit a reset button with Chinese New Year. I gather it’s not quite the tradition … but who’s to say not?

Still think you’ll struggle? Revisit my blog on how laughter yoga can help achieve the 10 most popular New Year resolutions.

Want to give laughter yoga a try? I’m the volunteer leader for Brisbane Laughter Club’s laughter yoga session in New Farm Park on Saturday 6 February, with a Chinese New Year inspired theme of simulated laughter exercise! Gather at 9.45am for a 10am start near the rotunda. Brisbane Laughter Club asks for a gold coin donation for its sessions.