Celebrate Lunar New Year with Silky Gem

Tết Nguyên Đán, or Lunar New Year, is a celebration deeply woven into the fabric of Vietnamese culture. As a Vietnamese American and the founder of Silky Gem , I hold this joyous occasion particularly close to my heart. It's a time for families to reunite, honor ancestors, and embrace the promise of a fresh start filled with good fortune and prosperity.

This year, Lunar New Year falls on February 10th, 2024. However, the significance of Tết goes far beyond a calendar date. It signifies the beginning of spring in the north, symbolizing renewal and growth, a concept deeply intertwined with Vietnam's agricultural roots. But more than just a harvest festival, Tết is a celebration of family, tradition, and shared joy.

My personal connection to this holiday stems from childhood memories. Growing up, Lunar New Year's treats were a cherished annual tradition. As a child from a poor household, delicacies like "Mứt Rau Câu" (sea moss agar candy) and "Mút Rong Sun" (sun-dried candied lotus root) were a true luxury. The anticipation of their sweet flavors was a highlight of the season.
These candies, known collectively as "Mứt," represent a centuries-old tradition dating back to the Thục Dynasty (257-207 BC). Traditionally offered alongside tea or rice wine to guests, these sweets symbolize wishes for health, wealth, and good fortune in the coming year. Witnessing my mother and grandmother meticulously prepare these treats, following a lineage of recipes passed down through generations, instilled a deep appreciation for these cultural practices.
Mứt Rau Câu, the focus of our Silky Gem creations, is a delightful candy made from sea moss agar. Packed with nutrients, it's traditionally created by boiling down sea moss into liquid form, adding sugar and fruits for flavor, and then sun-drying it for several days. This simple yet time-honored recipe is found across various Asian cultures, with variations like Japanese kohakutou and Thai kanom woon grop.
Moving to the United States, the memories of these treasured treats lingered. Inspired by my heritage and the beautiful Japanese kohakutou art form, I embarked on a journey to recreate Mứt Rau Câu, not just as a candy, but as a cultural connection. Through Silky Gem, I strive to present these exquisite candies in a contemporary way, hoping they spark joy and remind everyone of the significance of family, tradition, and shared moments of sweetness during Lunar New Year.
So, this Lunar New Year, celebrate with loved ones, savor the spirit of renewal, and perhaps indulge in a Silky Gem candy, a taste of tradition reimagined for the modern palate. 

- Gia Huynh, Founder of Silky Gem

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