Celebrate Lunar New Year with these 8 Lucky Foods!
The Year of the Snake will slither in on February 10, setting off 15 days of merriment and feasting! When family and friends get together to celebrate Lunar New Year, symbolic (and delicious) foods are the focus of the festivities!
Here are 8 main food items that are important for Lunar New Year celebrations. Eight is a lucky number for the Chinese because the number sounds like the word for prosperity in Mandarin.
8 Lucky Chinese New Year Foods!
1. Mandarin Oranges
Mandarins are symbols of prosperity and abundance. They are displayed in the home and also presented to family and friends you are visiting.
These fruits are not only nutritious they’re also a symbol of luck! The Mandarin word for pomelo, pronounced as “you,” also means “to have,” which is a symbol of good fortune, health and happiness for the household. They’re displayed in the house as well as eaten during Lunar New Year. Read more about pomelos and their nutritional attributes and history!
3. Yu Sheng – Lucky Salad
This is a Singaporean salad that is traditionally tossed for good luck. For more information about Yu Sheng, click here for our story.
4. Baked goods topped with sesame seeds
When family and friends visit one another, they will have snacks in their homes ready for company. One such popular snack, symbolizing fertility, is cookies or small pastries topped with sesame seeds.
5. Whole fish
Whole fish signifies prosperity. The word in Mandarin, “yu” sounds like the word for abundance. It is served during family dinners on the first few days of Lunar New Year.
Eaten on birthdays as well as Lunar New Year, noodles are a symbol of a long life.
7. Vegetarian dishes
It’s a Buddhist tradition to eat vegetarian food on the first day of Lunar New Year to show compassion to animals and purify the body.
Dumplings resemble the shape of a gold ingot (ancient Chinese currency) and therefore symbolize wealth and prosperity. In northern China, families will get together and make dumplings prior to the festivities. To celebrate Lunar New Year with your own dumpling making party, check out our recipe for steamed Chicken and Vegetable Wontons!
There are 15 days of celebration and each day has its own significance and customs. Nations Online has a detailed list of why and how each of the 15 days is celebrated.
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy New Year in Mandarin) and have a healthy, delicious, and prosperous Lunar New Year!