J. Wong’s Thai & Chinese Bistro, located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, invites the community to help usher in the Year of the Sheep on Saturday, February 21 and again on Friday, February 27, at 7pm. The J.Wong family, owners and operators of J.Wong’s, will host a Lion Dance, presented by Sil Lum Kung Fu Kwoon of Salt Lake City and will prepare some of their favorite traditional Chinese New Year dishes.
On Chinese New Year’s Day, they share a feast rich in tradition that seeks to bring balance, luck and wealth in the New Year. They prepare whole poached chicken to represent the sky, a whole roasted pig to represent the earth and whole fish to represent water; using the entire chicken, pig and fish is important because it represents wholeness and unity. They also enjoy a favorite family “longevity” noodle dish; the long noodles representing a long life. This year, the menu offerings at J. Wong’s will include Whole Red Snapper in Chinese Garlic Sauce, Slow Roasted Pork and Longevity Lo Mein (noodles). And they share symbolic fruits: apples for peace and golden oranges for prosperity.
While the feast literally and symbolically fills them with all of the good things for the coming year, Chinese New Year historically includes a few traditions for driving out bad luck as well. Loud noises, ferocious creatures and the color red are all thought to scare away demons and bad luck. Enter the Lion Dance. Firecrackers scare the bad spirits from their hiding places and brightly colored lions, dancing to the beat of loud drums, chase them away. This is especially important in the Year of the Sheep. A sheep year is a time to heal and values intimacy, family and close friends, themes the Wong family try to embrace every day at their restaurant.
Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 801-350-0888 or visiting jwongutah.com.