WS K88

WS K88
Erich's new place where different things will happen, but still the center of the universe and the navel of the world

Jan 27, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai

We want to wish all customers, friends and Blog readers a Happy Lunar New Year.

May you and your families be blessed with Good luck and Prosperity in the Year of the rat.

恭喜發財 Happy New Year
Kung Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin)
Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Vietnamese)

Looking forward to seeing you all again from February 9 onwards!

New Year Superstitions

Everyone should refrain from using foul language and bad or unlucky words. People only want to fill their mind with nice and sweet words. A typical Chinese superstition is to avoid the word "four" (Si), which sounds like the word for death. Death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are totally taboo. References to the past year are also avoided as everything should be turned toward the New Year and a new beginning.
If you cry on New Year's day, you will cry all through the year. Therefore, children are tolerated and are not spanked, even though they are mischievous. Psychologically people want to feel good and lucky throughout the whole festival. When they feel that they are in good luck during the New Year celebrations, they believe such good omens will follow for the rest of the year.

Red clothing is preferred during this festive occasion. Red is considered a bright, happy color, sure to bring the wearer a sunny and bright future. It is believed that appearance and attitude during New Year's sets the tone for the rest of the year.
The old Chinese believe that washing hair on the First Day will bring bad luck throughout the whole year because it would mean you would have washed away good luck for the New Year. It is not exactly known where this comes from, however one explanation is that on the first festival day, Chinese wanted to save water by not washing their hairs. In the old days, especially, in the villages, water was a scarce resource. They save the water for cleaning most of the household items instead. Another explanation is without washing the hairs on the First day keeps the people from catching a cold and fall sick because they had no hair dryers in the old days. A superstitious saying is that washing hairs on the First Day flushes away the 'lucks' from top to bottom.

For those most superstitious, before leaving the house to call on others, the Almanac should be consulted to find the best time to leave the home and the direction which is most auspicious to head out. The first person one meets and the first words heard are significant as to what the fortunes would be for the entire year. It is a lucky sign to see or hear songbirds or red-colored birds or swallows.

It is considered unlucky to greet anyone in their bedroom so that is why everyone, even the sick, should get dressed and sit in the living room.Do not use knives or scissors on New Year's Day as this may cut off fortune.

While many Chinese people today may not believe in these do's and don'ts, these traditions and customs are still practiced. These traditions and customs are kept because most families realize that it is these very traditions, whether believed or not, that provide continuity with the past and provide the family with an identity.
Prior to New Year's Day, Chinese families decorate their living rooms with vases of pretty blossoms, platters of oranges and tangerines and a candy tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit. On walls and doors are poetic couplets, happy wishes written on red paper. These messages sound better than the typical fortune cookie messages. For instance, "May you enjoy continuous good health" and "May the Star of Happiness, the Star of Wealth and the Star of Longevity shine on you" are especially positive couplets.
Every traditional Chinese household should also have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in one's career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms on New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity. In more elaborate settings, plum blossoms just starting to bloom are arranged with bamboo and pine sprigs, the grouping symbolizing friends & endash the plum blossom also signifies reliability and perseverance; the bamboo is known for its compatibility, its utility and its flexible stems for furniture and other articles;t he evergreen pine evokes longevity and steadiness. Other highly prized flowers are the pussy willow, azalea, peony and water lily or narcissus.

The 15-Day Celebration of Chinese New Year (CNY)

On the second day, the Chinese pray to their ancestors as well as to all the gods. They are extra kind to dogs and feed them well as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.

The third and fourth days are for the sons-in-laws to pay respect to their parents-in-law.
The fifth day is called Po Woo. On that day people stay home to welcome the God of Wealth. No one visits families and friends on the fifth day because it will bring both parties bad luck.

On the sixth to the 10th day, the Chinese visit their relatives and friends freely. They also visit the temples to pray for good fortune and health.
Jade God
The seventh day of the New Year is the day for farmers to display their produce. These farmers make a drink from seven types of vegetables to celebrate the occasion. The seventh day is also considered the birthday of human beings. Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success.
On the eighth day the Fujian people have another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they pray to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.
The ninth day is to make offerings to the Jade Emperor.
The 10th through the 12th are days that friends and relatives should be invited for dinner. After so much rich food, on the 13th day you should have simple rice congee and mustard greens (choi sum) to cleanse the system.

The 14th day should be for preparations to celebrate the Lantern Festival which is to be held on the 15th night.

Year 4706 is about to start: The Year of Rat

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2008 is a Year of the Rat (Earth). The Chinese year 4706 begins on Feb. 7, 2008 and ends on January 25, 2009. First in the cycle of 12 Animal signs, Rat Year begins the sequence and recurs every twelfth year.
It is a time of renewal in so many ways. From New Year to Valentine's Day, to the arrival of spring, may all the blessings and delights of the New Year be yours.
People born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and attraction for the opposite sex. They work hard to achieve their goals, acquire possessions, and are likely to be perfectionists. In Chinese, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. Their ambitions are big, and they are usually very successful. They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes. Basically rats are thrifty with money. Rat people are easily angered and love to gossip. They are most compatible with people born in the years of the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, William Shakespeare, and Mozart were all born in the year of the rat.
Of course, the entire horoscope must be considered when making any personality assessment.

A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to begin a new job, get married, launch a product or make a fresh start. Ventures begun now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people who are well prepared and resourceful. The best way for you to succeed is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every opening you can find.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony for "the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors". Many people abstain from meat on the first day of the new year because it is believed that this will ensure long and happy lives for them.

The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family. The presence of the ancestors is acknowledged on New Year's Eve with a dinner arranged for them at the family banquet table. The spirits of the ancestors, together with the living, celebrate the onset of the New Year as one great community. The communal feast called "surrounding the stove" or weilu. It symbolizes family unity and honors the past and present generations.

The eve of CNY is probably the high point of the celebration as it is on this day that family members from far and near will return home for the reunion dinner, to rekindle family ties and enjoy the sumptuously prepared meals. Dinner is usually made up of seafood and dumplings; delicacies include waxed duck, prawns, braised dried oysters, scallops and “prosperity vegetables”. After the reunion feast, entire families will try to stay up all night in adherence to shou sui, a practice which is believed to bring one's parents longevity. To while away the hours, it is common for many to gamble; the sound of mahjong chips clattering against each other throughout the night is not uncommon.
At the stroke of midnight, the New Year is ushered in. Firecrackers and fireworks are prohibited, so the requisite din to herald the New Year falls upon human voices and song, and modern “improvisations” such as the recorded sounds of exploding firecrackers.
With daylight, homes again become a buzz of activity. Ceremonial candles are lit, incense burned, new clothes (red is the custom) are put on, and greetings of “Gong Xi Fa Cai - Kong Hee Fatt Choy” or “nian nian you yu” (which means “may every year be filled with extras”) are made. Families visit each others houses exchanging gifts of mandarin oranges which symbolizes gold or wealth. Another custom for married couples is to give children and unmarried adults money inserted in red packets known as ang pow, as a gesture to mean that the recipient will enjoy a fruitful and wealthy life.

Preparing for CNY celebrations

Preparations usually begin a month prior to the New Year, when people start buying new clothes, decorations and foodstuff; houses are cleaned from top to bottom, then decorated with red lanterns; banners; plastic or paper firecrackers (real crackers are prohibited); panels inscribed with calligraphic characters bearing themes of happiness, wealth and longevity; and greeting cards received from well-wishers.
The festival, which once also marked the beginning of spring in China, begins on the first day of the lunar calendar year, the first day of the new moon, and ends on the 15th day, known as Chap Goh Meh, the last day of the full moon.

However, celebrations are normally confined to the first few days and the last day. Not so in the Peoples Republic of China and some other Asian countries, where celebrations last at least one week. According to news reports the busiest travel period of the year since people are rushing back home from every corner of the world to celebrate with their families relatives and friends.

In Singapore, the first two days are public holidays and you have to be prepared that surprisingly almost everything will be closed the only 2 days during the whole year. So if you're new to Singapore better fill up your fridge the days before CNY. Even most of the Hawker centres and many Restaurants are closed. Be prepared!

About the lunar New Year

Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the New Year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the New Year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.
The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

CNY is a time for family reunions, the lion dance, firecrackers, mahjong, mandarin oranges and giving/collecting ang pow.It highlights some of the most fascinating aspects of Chinese tradition and rituals.
Its origin can be traced back thousands of years, to the legend which tells of a fearsome mythological creature known as Nian that is said to have once terrorised China, devouring people on the eve of CNY. To ward off the beast, red-paper couplets were pasted on doors, firecrackers were set off throughout the night, and huge fires were lit.
Today, the prevalence of the colour red, and firecrackers, form part of the CNY celebrations throughout the world, as a part of custom and tradition.

Jan 22, 2008


Just in time for the CNY celebrations Erich is offering new items and promotions on his menu. These products are only available at the Backstube & Imbiss.
A typical Austrian delicacy is the Bosna which is a delicious pork sausage in a a type of baguette with chopped onions and yellow curry powder.
Also new on the menu is a plate of mini sausages with mashed potatoes and Sauerkraut.

Left the Mini sausage and right the Bosna

CNY Promotions for best sellers:

Linda and her team is ready to serve you. Give it a try.

Jan 21, 2008

A "quiet" day in Erich's live

A request by many of Erich's overseas friends to post a video for them to see how he's doing and about live at the Wuerstelstand.
Not a surprise request because many of them are missing the lively atmosphere, Erich's humor and of course his sausages!

Jan 19, 2008

Chinese New Year (CNY) light up is officially on

Hectic activities the last few days in Chinatown reminded us that the New Year is just around the corner. Shop owners were setting up their stalls doing last adjustments on decorations only interrupted by sudden, heavy downpours, sending a worried look to the skies and hoping the gods will be gracious the next few weeks.
Some are sound checking their speaker systems in order to get more attention from potential customers, or just to be LOUDER than the neighbor. It’s sometimes funny to watch these hawkers, when everyone is monitoring closely every move the neighbor is doing: He got a bright spot light, mine must be brighter then. His music system is disco ready, well then, mine must be open air concert approved! The louder, the brighter, the more we’ll be able to sell! That’s the concept.
Walking through the narrower than usual lanes in Chinatown during CNY however is always as exciting as strolling down Orchard Road during the Xmas season. It is so great to look at all the colorful items displayed, all the red stuff, the sausages, waxed ducks and oranges or to inhale the sweet smell from the varieties of food sold.
Chinatown business association and the respective committees are trying to do their best year by year. More stalls than ever have been set up to please customers with their goodies.
I’m aware that some avoid Chinatown this time of the year because of the masses slowly moving along the stalls or the high noise level.
But we shouldn’t complain because No.1 it is part of the Chinese culture and tradition which has to be carried on by the young (a very important point) and this also means that our economy is doing well again after a few years with unfortunate events as September 11, SARS and a poorer economic performance.
Look at their faces and you see people seem to be happy and confident again, despite some downturns in the US.
Isn’t that enough reason to celebrate? So let’s all get out and celebrate the coming year of the rat, forget (at least for a while) about our ‘kiasuism’, selfishness and give a smile to our neighbors, our colleagues or even to ‘strangers’ like ang moh’s and tourists. It doesn’t hurt but it shows our willingness to open our heart to the world. I’m very sure our friendliness will be appreciated and returned.
So see you in Chinatown!!

If you haven't been there yet, lets stroll together and soak in the vibrant atmosphere spread by a fusion of traditional and modern array of festive goodies:

Early Saturday afternoon it was starting to get crowded
Everyone and everything was ready to welcome visitors
All the traditional and not so traditional things are displayed and waiting for buyers: Candies to symbolize a sweet and abundant year ahead
Candid lotus roots to symbolize numerous offspring
The closer it got to 7pm (Start of celebrations) the more crowed it became
The young man getting new cloth's for CNY Chinese handicrafts

Decorations are an important feature of the celebrations for the Chinese New Year.
luck in terms of long life, wealth etc. One of the main forms of decoration are Chun Lian - 'Red Couplets', which are Chinese good luck sayings written on red paper, often with gold trimmings and usually made up of four Chinese characters which ask for luck in terms of long life, wealth etc.
Paper cutting
My favorite! Not traditional but most delicious: Various chocolate covered fruits
My tip: Try the Durian or Strawberries. A must!!!
Melon seeds symbolize a long line of decendants. Pistachio to not just symbolize a long line of decendants but also a joyous new year. The name of the nut in Mandarin literally means " a happy fruit" becuase the half cracked shell resembles a smile.
Every traditional Chinese household should also have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in one's career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms on New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity.

The Chinese firmly believe that without flowers, there would be no formation of any fruits. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to have flowers and floral decorations.
They are the emblems of reawakening of nature, they are also intimately connected with superstition and with the wish for happiness during the ensuing year. The bamboo is very popular as a symbol of life, longevity and strength. It stays firmly rooted even in the face of fierce winds. For the Hokkiens, the bamboo plants represent their shelter from the evil demons that terrorised their ancestors during an ancient dark evil era.

The Chinese refer the brown plant below as “Pussy Willow” or “Yin Liu” in Mandarin. You will be surprised that the Pussy Willow is actually a common tree in the forests and wetlands of Canada and northern Alaska or Europe. In Cantonese, “Yin Liu” sounds like “Yin Lou” which is similar to “Yin Liang” (money). Therefore, having this plant around during Chinese New Year would represent the invitation of abundant luck and prosperity into homes.

Delicious chinese black mushrooms
Roasted peanuts another symbol for a long line of decendants. The same way a peanut grows to yield many plant shoots.
Golden pomelos
Waxed duck and Chinese sausages
Walking around makes thirsty. Stanley prepares the right drink for everyone, thirst quenching and refreshing. Latest drink: Germany's No. 1 Mineral water: Gerolsteiner
And last but not least the stop at Erich's for Sausages, meatloaf or salami.
and get buns or pretzels from Helen
Caring about a dessert? The "Prosperity Muffins" are an excellent choice!!!
Erich and his team are pleased to serve you! Hope to see you soon. Click here to see more:
Chinese New Year 08