Good Luck Food for Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals of the Chinese. The celebrations last for 15 days, which is often treated as a fun time to come back home, meet family, stay together and spend some quality time. The festival originated as the end of the harvest season, when the farmers’ families took some rest after so much hard work all through the year. In addition to a lot of decorations, gift giving and merriment, Chinese New Year also brings with it lots of food and good luck. There are certain dishes that the Chinese like to eat during New Year that they believe will bring good luck and prosperity all across the coming year. Whether it is a superstition or just their way of celebrating the festival, find some good luck food for Chinese New Year in this oneHOWTO article.
The Chinese term for fish sounds like surplus. Having surplus at the end of year is believed to bring more savings in the coming year. They cook different fishes in different ways like braising, steaming, boiling etc. Different fishes have different meaning associated to them, such as:
- The Chinese mud carp symbolizes good fortune
- The Crucial carp symbolizes good luck in the coming year
- Eating two fishes for two consecutive days, first on the New Year’s Eve and the second on the next day, symbolizes having surplus year after year
- Eating only one catfish, but just the upper part, on New Year’s Eve and the remaining part the next day, symbolizes the same meaning too
Chinese make dumplings in the shape of silver ingots. They believe that the more dumplings you can eat during the celebrations, the more money you will make in the coming year. Sometimes, they place a copper coin in one of the dumplings. The person who bites the coin while eating the dumpling is believed to be the luckiest in the coming year. They make dumplings filled with finely chopped vegetables, minced meat, minced pork, fish, diced shrimp, beef, ground chicken etc. Sauerkraut is avoided during these festivities, as it implies difficult future and poverty.
Since fried spring rolls look like gold bars, they are believed to bring wealth and prosperity in the coming year. They are cylindrical shaped dough rolls filled with meat, vegetables or sweets.
Chinese already consider rice to be a lucky food to be consumed any time of the year. They often associated rice with prosperity and fertility. Rice cakes, known as ‘nian gao’ sounds like ‘nian nian gao sheng’, which means ‘raising prosperity year after year’. Eating rice cakes is also associated with the starting of the harvest of rice. Literally translated as a high cake, rice cake symbolizes achievement of new heights in the following year. These heights can be in terms of high grades in studies, promotions in job, rise in the business, increased height of children etc. Major ingredients used in making rice cakes include sugar, rice, chestnuts, lotus leaves and Chinese dates.
During Chinese New Year, people make noodles longer than normal. This symbolizes longevity for everyone in the family. They are prepared and served uncut to represent a wish for long life for all the eaters at the dining table.
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