Lunar New Year Content Ideas

Happy New Year! Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! 新年快乐! Make it a year of family, fortune and luck this Tuesday, February 1st. You will have the chance to celebrate Lunar New Year so go make a reservation at your favorite Asian restaurant to join in on the festivities (my go to is Din Tai Fung) Half the fun of Lunar New Year is reviving all the traditions around the holiday- it’s a time for family and friends to get together to ring in the new year. In this blog post, I will be sharing my Lunar New Year content and photo ideas along with some fun facts. I’m proud to share my culture with you all and gets you inspired to celebrate along with me!

Passing out red envelopes (紅包 / hóngbāo) is a classic tradition. These red envelopes are filled with money and symbolize good wishes and luck for the new year ahead. It’s every kid’s favorite part! For this photo, first have the camera focused on your face while you hold up a red envelope. The envelope should appear blurry giving you this effect. Next, throw around the rest of the red envelope to make it appear that it’s falling from the sky and ta da!

Easiest thing for you to participate in LNY? Wear new clothes, or at least something red. People believe wearing new clothes symbolize a fresh new start and a hopeful beginning. Avoid black and white. In my culture, the color red is associated with energy, happiness and good luck. Put on your favorite red lipstick and try on a traditional qípáo 旗袍, a traditional garment made with embroidered silk featuring a high collar and delicate buttons on the front. It comes in a variety of colors nowadays, but I prefer to stick to the traditional red. P.S The materials can be ordered through Amazon or better yet, head to your local Chinatown and you’ll be sure to get them for a steal!

The history of the Chinese fan dates back to over 3,000 years ago. The feather fan became popular among the aristocracy because it was extremely expensive to produce. Made of bird feathers, it was widely recognized as the symbol of wealth, authority, and wisdom.

 

I hope you’re hungry! It’s time for dumplings! Dumplings represent wealth because of their close appearance to Chinese gold ingots, which are oval, boat-shaped hunks of gold used as currency in imperial China. Some families will hide a coin in one of the dumplings, and whoever receives that dumpling is believed to have a prosperous year. Customizing my own dumplings is one of my favorite actives! Plus, you can pop them in ziplock bags in the freezer and they can last up to months! Super convenient for when you need a quick meal.

The Taiwanese have used lanterns not only as sources of light or simple paper decoration, but also they symbolize the wish for a bright future. You’ll find lanterns hanging in public spaces, shops, restaurants, and even used as street lights. Hanging lanterns are particularly common during festivals as they are said to bring good luck. During the Spring Festival, red lanterns are meant to scare the monster away.

Fun Fact: The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year is related to an animal sign according to a 12-year-cycle. This year, we have the chance to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. According to predictions, if you’re born in the year of the Ox and Goat, you will be the luckiest zodiac signs in the year of 2022. For those born in the years of the Rat, Snake, Monkey, Pig and Dog, you will need to make comparatively more effort in order to make achievements. Rabbit, Dragon, Horse, and Rooster people are destined to enjoy a smooth life and good luck in making money this year. 

Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Face Mask Review

Asian skincare has been trending for quite a while and it’s finally making its way here in the US. Woot Woot!! I am beyond proud of the spotlight Asians are FINALLY receiving: from Crazy Rich Asians premiering to various Asian brands going internationally. Asian culture, cuisine, traditions is flourishing and it’s such a beautiful thing to witness as a Taiwanese American. 

Sulwhasoo is a luxury Korean skincare brand that found international success using traditional Korean herbs to protect and strengthen the skin. The brand’s belief is that our bodies are one with nature and that balance and creating harmony is vital for our body. The foundation of the ingredients is based on Korean herbal medicine inspired by Asian wisdom. Growing up in Asia, I remember seeing my mom and Aunties all owning a bottle of Sulwhasoo’s skin care and fast forward to now, I have the opportunity to create content with the brand means the world to me.  

Sulwhasoo gifted me their bio-cellulose Snowise Brightening Serum sheet mask. The key ingredient in this mask is fermented white ginseng extract: it delivers nutrients and is rich in tone correction. This sheet mask is drenched in potent serums! I saw INSTANT results after 20 minutes of using the mask. My skin felt hydrated, radiant and luminous! Living in LA, the weather is extremely drying and my skin always feels thirsty for moisture so this was the perfect product for me. And who doesn’t want more hydration in their skin? We only get one set of skin in this lifetime and its crucial to take good care of it from an early age. 

If you’ve never heard of Sulwhasoo, go give it a try! They sell at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Sephora. Happy shopping!

There is more daily content and inspiration on my Instagram so go follow me on there for daily updates!

Xo,

Sophie

Authentic Taiwanese Pickled Cucumber

This is one of my favorite childhood side dishes- Taiwanese smashed pickled cucumber! My mom and uncle used to make this pretty often and I just can’t get enough of the garlicky, vinegary taste. They have these at Din Tai Fung, but to be honest, they don’t make it that flavorful…. (dont get me wrong, I LOVE Din Tai Fung for other main dishes) 

After my trips back home from Taiwan, I always crave it, so I decided to perfect the recipe. I’m so happy to share this special dish with you and if you give it a try, let me know how you liked it!

INGREDIENTS

2-5 Persian Cucumbers

5 Garlic cloves (we LOVE garlic… add less or more depending on your taste)

1 Chili Pepper (1 Red or Yellow) or substitute with black peppercorns

4 Tablespoons of White Vinegar (depends on how vinegary you like your cucumbers- adjust accordingly)

2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil

1/2 Tablespoons of Salt

1/2 Tablespoons of Sugar

Red Onion (Optional)

STEP 1:

First, wash your cucumbers. Cut the ends off, take the flat side of the knife and SMASH your cucumber until it starts breaking off into bite size pieces. 

STEP 2:

Put the cucumbers in a glass tupperware and sprinkle in the white/cane sugar and salt. Use your hands and mix it together so the cucumbers are evenly coated. Put a lid on it and stick in the fridge for 2 hours. 

STEP 3:

Slice chili pepper- keep the seeds if ya like it spicy. Since we’re in quarantine, we might not have the exact ingredients…. so improvise! I’ve used fresh grounded black pepper or peppercorn and it works just as well.

Smash the garlic. This method helps the aroma come out more when you marinate it. Optional: slice some red onions

STEP 4:

Drain and rinse the salted cucumbers that have been sitting in the fridge. Add chili peppers/onions/garlic to the cucumbers and combine it with vinegar and sesame oil. I like to sprinkle a generous pinch of cane sugar before I pop it back in the fridge.

Mix it all up and marinate for at least a couple of hours. The longer you marinate the more pungent the taste. ENJOY!

Xoxo,

Soph