Lunar New Year is a traditional celebration in countries such as China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Chinese districts around the world. Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year still maintains many customs and superstitions related to a new beginning.
The Chinese year will be lucky if you are careful to follow certain traditions.
Turn on all the lights in the house, and open all the windows. Also, you can place some coals (for business support) and golden garlic (symbol), if not, at least regular garlic (for more opportunities in business) on a plate.
Don’t forget fireworks – very favorable, to eliminate bad luck, and to welcome auspicious energies.
For the owners of houses with the main door opening in the south or southeast direction, it is recommended to throw a party to boost luck. The favorable hours are between 11 am – 3 pm.
Chinese New Year is a family celebration, so all the relatives reunite around the festive dinner table. The dishes and food used for preparation have a special meaning.
It is said that the duck attracts fertility, the vegetable mix is for harmony in the home, the apple symbolizes wisdom and peace, and the chicken brings prosperity, health, and a close relationship with the family members.
Of course, there are a few dishes specific to this period of the year. Find out below which are the Chinese New Year’s traditional dishes.
Lucky Foods to Eat on Lunar New Year’s Eve of 2023
You will bring luck and prosperity to your house if you have the following dishes on the table on New Year’s Eve:
Bird’s Nest Soup
A soup that symbolizes long life and prosperity, which is why it is good to be among the dishes present on New Year’s Eve dinner table.
On the Chinese New Year, people enjoy eating Jiaozi, a type of dumpling that symbolizes wealth and longevity. Most often, these dumplings have a round shape, similar to the old Japanese money.
Dumplings are one of the most significant food for the Chinese new year. Because their shape is similar to ancient Chinese gold and silver ingots, dumplings symbolize wealth.
You must prepare a whole fish for the Lunar New Year’s eve dinner. However, you must not finish the fish and leave some to the next day (which will be the new year already). This is because, in Chinese, the sound “fish” sounds just like “sur·plus”. Therefore, having a fish from this year to the next year symbolizes you will always have more than what you need.
Duck or Chicken
A whole chicken or duck (with head and tail) represents completeness.
Those who wish to have a long life should eat noodles on New Year. This is a ritual practiced by Asian people, who believe that this way, they will attract longevity. However, beware not to cut the noodles when you eat them. It’s not auspicious!
Jai or Buddha’s Delight
Jai, a much appreciated vegetarian dish served at Chinese New Year’s dinner, contains many ingredients, such as fatt choy – black algae for prosperity because it sounds like “abundance of wealth.”
In the Mandarin language, the word “leek” sounds a lot like “counting.” Perhaps this is why the Chinese believe that leeks attract wealth, especially when consumed on New Year’s Eve.
* Learn how to say “Happy Chinese New Year” in Mandarin.
Stir-Fried Shrimp With XO Sauce
In Chinese tradition, shrimp are related to happiness and a good mood. The XO sauce is prepared with seafood, which is very popular in Cantonese cuisine.
Nian Gao, a thick, sweet rice “pudding” representing the wish to keep progressing every year – is another dish often offered as a gift.
Tray of Togetherness
It is a tray full of eight types of snacks. For example, pecan nuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, peach seeds, prunes, apricots, nuts, and small ingots, but also sweets. All these symbolize abundance and prosperity. You can serve the guests, or you can even gift such a platter (plate). You can also place lucky fruits to attract wealth and pomegranates for fertility.
Chinese New Year would not be complete without tangerines or kum, representing gold. Families buy these fruits both for their own consumption and to give away when visiting friends and relatives.
Other fruits consumed during this festive period are litchi. Newlywed women are especially encouraged to eat these fruits because it means a marriage blessed with bright children.
Pomegranates are other loved and auspicious fruits because it is said that they bring many sons that will honor the name of the family.
Fruits can also be offered as gifts. Pomelo or yellow melon symbolizes family unity throughout the year.
The traditional biscuits and sweets (such as coconut candies) cannot be missing during this time, as well as kua chi, that is, roasted and peeled watermelon and pumpkin seeds.
Fa sang or peanuts (often shelled) are also popular and, like all the other foods consumed during this time, have an auspicious meaning because they are homonymous with “flourishing growth.”
Lotus seeds or lin chi represent the desire to have male descendants, and Gingko nuts symbolize silver ingots and, thus, money.
Tips to Attract Luck in Your House on the Chinese New Year’s Eve:
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, the place where the family gathers to eat, which is why cleanness must be maintained, both in the room and fridge.
Throw away everything old or expired, and buy new ingredients to prepare the Chinese New Year dinner. The fridge should be full of fresh food during the first 15 days of the Chinese New Year.
Activate the Center of the house – place a fruit plant (oranges or lemons), lights, a representation of water, a yellow crystal, and a metal object. All these objects signify the five elements, and in combination with the annual star 8, will only bring prosperity to the whole family living in that house.
New pictures and photo frames – this is a wonderful chance to place new family pictures taken during happy moments, but especially beautiful photo frames radiating prosperity. You can choose golden photo frames or some with the Mystic Node or Lotus symbol.
Now that you know which of the eight types of lucky dishes you should have on the Chinese New Year, it is time to prepare these holiday meals so you can start the New Year successfully.
May the Year of the Rabbit 2023 bring you prosperity and plenty of luck!