Clean, Shop, CookThe Lunar New Year is almost upon us, and whether you traditionally observe it, or are looking to partake in a new cultural tradition, here are 3 easy tips to engage with the festivities as we welcome in the Year of the Tiger.
1) Clean your house
Much like the Western ideal of a “spring clean”, people partake in a thorough house clean in the lead up to the Lunar New Year. Make sure you dust all those hard-to-reach places that get neglected on your regular clean, and then relax in the reflection of your beautiful, clean space.
The idea behind the process of cleaning is to enter the New Year with a clean slate — literally, and figuratively. Thus, when entering the New Year, it is also important to organise any lingering personal business you may have so that you can move through this period unburdened. If you have any friends or relatives with whom you’ve been having a tough time, pull them aside for a chat and try and resolve any lingering issues so that you can both begin the New Year fresh.
When it comes to cleaning your home, we can’t go past these products:
Koala Eco, Natural Floor Cleaner — $12.95
Dotted with scents of mandarin and lemon myrtle, the Koala Eco Natural Floor Cleaner is sure to revive any hard surfaces and leave your home smelling brand new. Using only natural ingredients, the team at Koala Eco has created a powerful cleaner that will not only do a great job, but is completely non-toxic and biodegradable. All packaging is made from post-consumer recycled plastic, and refills can be purchased directly from their website!
Resparkle, Natural All Purpose Kit — $27.50
Resparkle is an industry leader in the Australian sustainable cleaning product market, and their Natural All Purpose Spray has been a significant contributor to their success. Combining coconut derived cleansers with natural bicarbonates, and accent scents of lemon eucalyptus and lavender, Resparkle’s signature product is an effective cleaner while remaining gentle on the environment and your skin. Their All Purpose Kit comes with one biodegradable cartridge of cleaner, glass spray bottle and non-scratch copper scrubber. You can purchase further biodegradable refills from their website.
Featuring scents of eucalyptus, blue gum, pine and lavender, this eco-friendly toilet cleaner will leave your throne in pristine condition. Using only natural essential oils, this formulation is completely biodegradable and non-toxic.
Koala Eco, Natural Glass Cleaner — $12.95
Often it seems like there is nothing more challenging than achieving perfect, smear-free glass. Koala Eco has pulled through with the perfect, sustainable solution. Using natural, biodegradable ingredients Koala Eco has crafted an effect glass cleaner that is also completely allergen safe. The addition of peppermint essential oil not only makes this glass cleaner smell heavenly, but it discourages the settling of dust and insects to help further prolong your glass surfaces’ pristine sparkle. As with all Koala Eco products, the packaging is completely post-consumer recycled, and refills are available via their website.
Resparkle Bamboo Microfibre Cloth — $9.60 for pack of 3
Resparkle’s Bamboo Microfibre Cloths are the perfect tool to accompany your new cleaners. Not only is bamboo renowned as one of the most sustainable materials due to its fast-growing nature and continued carbon storage capacity, it is also highly absorbent and naturally odour-free. You can wash these cloths after using, safe in the knowledge that they won’t release harmful micro-plastics into our waterways.
As mentioned above, bamboo is one of the most sustainable natural materials available to us. Naturally, we love it. The Marley’s Monsters Bamboo Fleece Duster is perfect for cleaning those hard-to-reach places, to leave your home dust-free. Machine washable, this duster is guaranteed to effectively collect dust and maintain a sustainably clean home.
2) Buy new clothes
Yep, you heard right: you’re allowed to buy new clothes for the Lunar New Year. Much like with the cleaning tradition, the idea is to begin the New Year with a fresh palette. Think of this as an opportunity to set your tone for the coming year: you have complete freedom to decide if you want to be fun & flirty, sombre & serious, boss lady professional, cute & quirky or any other manner of style.
Keeping on theme, we love the Tiger Print Collection at women’s clothing brand Stardust Crew. Featuring accent neon pop prints crafted from premium Italian glitter vinyl, this collection is perfectly fun while still maintaining the flexibility to be paired back with existing wardrobe staples.
We especially love the playful summer vibe of the Women’s Organic Cotton Tiger Tee in Pink. Made from divinely soft and breathable organic cotton, this women’s t-shirt is the perfect fun addition to your current wardrobe. A dark pink glitter tiger face provides the perfect contrast against the soft pink backdrop, which has been created using non-toxic cold pigment dyes.
We’re also loving the matching Women’s Sweatshirt in Vintage Black as the perfect throw over for when the Australian summer inevitably throws a cold spell at you. The added benefit of this women’s cotton sweatshirt, is the versatility of its darker, moodier palette throughout the year. A bright pop of neon yellow Italian glitter vinyl throws the vintage black into stark relief. As with the pink organic cotton tee, this colour women’s cotton sweat has been achieved using a non-toxic cold pigment dye. This means that each piece will fade uniquely with use, leaving you with a truly special printed sweat.
3) Get that Lunar New Year Feast sortedFinally, the most important aspect of the Lunar New Year: food. A significant taboo during the New Year period (1st February – 14th February) is the use of knives and other sharp objects, thus any food preparation should take place before the festivities begin. Many different foods can be enjoyed over the holiday period, including dumplings, spring rolls, noodles, and proteins. Further information on the symbolism of different foods can be found in this article by Amanda Xi.
Whether you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, or just trying your best, Masterchef Winner Adam Liaw has plenty of recipes available that are easy to execute, and perfect for celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Here are a few of our favourites:
The Sichuan Province of China is renowned for its spicy and fragrant cuisine, and this recipe is no exception. Featuring divinely sumptuous duck accented by aromatics and spice this is a perfect dish for risk-takers and connoisseurs of the cuisine alike.
Everyone loves dumplings, but sometimes it can seem overwhelming to try and make them yourself. Luckily, Adam Liaw accompanies this recipe with a simple YouTube video outlining the basics for you. If you don’t feel quite up to making your own dumpling wrappers, or are short on time, simply purchase merino dumpling skins from your local supermarket or Asian grocer.
This one’s perfect for when you’re feeding a crowd. Noodles are always a favourite, and easy to make in large quantities. Use Adam’s sauce as a base and add your own vegetables and protein, which will allow you the flexibility to create vegetarian or vegan options.