Celebrate Chinese New Year with a festive feast of symbolic Chinese dishes.
While most cultures around the world celebrate New Year as a time of resolutions, for the Chinese, the New Year means that and much more. It is a time to gather the family, honour ancestors and celebrate with a big banquet that symbolizes prosperity in the New Year.
Most of the dishes served during the two week Chinese New Year celebration are symbolic of something positive and hopeful.
• Chicken for example, symbolize happiness and prosperity–especially when served whole.
• Fish, or “yue” symbolize abundance and togetherness. At traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, the fish is never fully eaten to signify that the family will always have more than enough.
• Dumplings or “jiaozi” symbolize wealth and prosperity; their crescent shape resembles ancient Chinese money.
• Dishes made with oranges represent wealth and good fortune because they are China’s most plentiful fruit.
• Noodles represent longevity: Leave them whole — an old superstition says it is bad luck to cut them.
• Lettuce or “sang choi,” symbolizes prosperity because its name sounds like the word meaning “to bring about wealth and riches.”
• Duck symbolizes fidelity, while eggs signify fertility.
• Bean curd or tofu, however, is avoided because its white colour suggests death and misfortune.