Chinese New Year revolves around eating. You visit family and friends and meander from one house the next, paying respects to the oldest relatives first and bringing “hong bao” red envelopes filled with money to the youngest relatives.

A New Year’s celebration is not complete without “jiao zi” dumplings and this is especially true in the north. This long tradition brings family together by going through the process of finely chopping the carrots, pork and various greens.


The fun is then wrapping the dumplings themselves, sharing stories and different styles of dumplings. You eat throughout the night as relatives pop by to say hi. This nightly tradition rotates between the relative’s homes and goes on for about 5 days.


We definitely had our fill and were exhausted after eating for only 3 days! Thank you to Jane’s family for your wonderful hospitality!


We also visited with the neighbors and chatted with them on their traditional wood/ coal fired bed.

This used to be the most common form of home in China. You share a courtyard with multiple families with your kitchen in the front of the house. Your living room, dining room, and bedroom are the same room. The furnace that warms your home is located under your bed, that also serves as your couch and communal area. When you are ready to sleep, you roll out your matted bedding and have sweet dreams on your warm platform.


This couple is from Inner Mongolia, both had beautiful physical features and were extremely hospitable.