Monday, December 22, 2008

Dongzhi Festival (冬至) X Tivo

yesterday (21st December) was the Dongzhi Festival (冬至); otherwise known as the Winter Solstice Festival.
this is the shortest day of the year and the longest night, also considered the start of winter.
and you could say it was the start of winter! the temperature dropped from 24 degrees to 16 degrees!
wow, the world works in mysterious ways....

in Hong Kong this festival is pretty up there in terms of importance as it's a time when families get together and celebrate. in other words eat.

as it's customary to cook using fresh and/or live ingredients for such celebrations,
chicken is commonly consumed, but as there is now a 3-week ban on of live chickens imports here its been causing a bit of a stir.
pretty amazing that everyday 7000 chickens are imported into Hong Kong from China!
and in the build-up to this festival, this number was doubled to 14,000 until the ban took place a few weeks ago.

now that i'm talking about chicken, i have mention how chickens are purchased here.
firstly, most people buy their chickens live (as in squawking) at a wet-market.
"supermarket" chicken is not so popular due to the fact that it's not "fresh".
"fresh" means eyeing up the squawking chickens and then choosing a energetic plump one.
next comes the best part, the ass blowing.
yup, ass blowing.
the chicken is held up by its feet and the charming stall owner (or sometimes the buyer) will blow (no human-chicken contact!) at the ass of the chicken.
if the hole... contracts and closes up it means the chicken is healthy and a good buy.
if not, it's thrust back into the cage for another blowing by another hungry housewife.
it's then very quickly and by the looks of it painlessly killed (neck snapped...), de-feathered and ready to go.

photo i took of chicken shopping in china

call me a wuss, but i grew up on supermarket chicken so will be sticking with this for the time being.

but on this celebratory day there wasn't chicken for me, but instead eggs.
but were they supermarket eggs?!?!
i had brunch with friends at Aqua's Tivo. it's been open now for nearly 2 years and i had yet to step inside this Italian-styled dining bar.
i had a craving for eggs Benedict and the ones Tivo dished up passed my seal of approval.

family festivals like the
Dongzhi Festival and Christmas just 3-days away really make me wish i lived closer to family...
maybe one day soon.

the warm lights in Tivo

43 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2116-8055

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