Lunar New Year is a traditional celebration in countries such as China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Chinese districts worldwide. 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 carefully 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.
Because the Chinese New Year is fast approaching, everyone is excited to join family and friends in celebrating this joyous occasion.
On February 10th, many Asian countries will be ringing in the Year of the Dragon, a year that is said to bring great accomplishments through hard work and determination. It’s always exciting to see what the new year will bring!
To celebrate, why not gather some friends and head to a Chinese restaurant, or even better, why not try your hand at preparing a Chinese-inspired feast at home? To make it easy for you, I’ve put together a list of delicious Chinese dishes that are sure to please any crowd. So, come and join in the celebrations, and let’s ring in the Year of the Dragon with some mouth-watering Chinese delicacies.
Chinese New Year Food in the Philippines
- Nian gao (年糕): a sweet glutinous rice cake, symbolizing a higher income or social status in the coming year
- Dumplings (饺子): filled with meat and vegetables, symbolizing wealth and good fortune
- Fish (鱼): symbolizing abundance and surplus
- Spring rolls (春卷): symbolizing wealth and prosperity
- Chicken (鸡): symbolizing good luck and fidelity
- Sausages (香肠): symbolizing togetherness and unity
- Oranges (橙子): symbolizing good luck and wealth
- Tangerines (橘子): symbolizing luck and prosperity
- Longanisa (龙虾肠): a sweet Filipino sausage, symbolizing long life and strong connections
- Kutsinta (粉糕): a sweet rice cake, symbolizing prosperity and abundance
- Peking duck (北京烤鸭): symbolizing fidelity and prosperity.
Lucky Foods to Eat on Lunar New Year’s Eve of 2024
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.
Bird’s nest soup is a traditional Chinese dish made from the saliva nests of swiftlets, a type of bird found in Southeast Asia. The nests are harvested from cliffs and cave walls and are considered a delicacy due to their rarity and high nutritional value.
The nests are then cleaned, soaked in water, and cooked with chicken broth and seasonings to create a savory and flavorful soup. It is believed to have medicinal properties and is often served to promote good health and longevity.
Jiaozi, also known as dumplings, is a traditional Chinese food often eaten during Chinese New Year. They are made by wrapping a filling of meat and vegetables in a thin dough and then boiling or steaming them until cooked.
Jiaozi are believed to symbolize wealth and good fortune and are often served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, and chili oil. They can be made at home or purchased from Chinese supermarkets or restaurants.
Fish is a traditional food often eaten during Chinese New Year 2024. It is believed to symbolize abundance and surplus and is often served whole to represent a family’s good fortune in the coming year.
Fish can be cooked in various ways, such as steamed, fried, or braised. Some common fish dishes for Chinese New Year include steamed fish with ginger and scallions, pan-fried fish with sweet and sour sauce, and braised fish with vegetables.
Duck or Chicken
Duck is a traditional food often served on the Chinese New Year table. It is believed to symbolize fidelity and prosperity and is often cooked in various ways, such as roasted, braised, or steamed.
Some common duck dishes for Chinese New Year include Peking duck, roast duck with plum sauce, and braised duck with mushrooms and vegetables. It is often served with pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce.
Noodles are a typical food often served on the Chinese New Year 2024 table. They are believed to symbolize long life and good health and are often eaten uncut to represent the longevity of the eater.
Noodles can be made from various ingredients, such as wheat, rice, or egg, and can be cooked in various ways, such as boiled, fried, or stir-fried. Some common noodle dishes for Chinese New Year include longevity noodles, stir-fried noodles with vegetables, and noodle soup with meat and vegetables.
Jai or Buddha’s Delight
Jai, also known as Buddha’s Delight, is a traditional Chinese, vegetarian dish often eaten during Chinese New Year 2024. It is made from various ingredients, such as mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots, and bean sprouts, and is often flavored with seasonings such as garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.
Jai is believed to symbolize purity and peace and is often served as part of a vegetarian meal to honor the teachings of Buddhism. It is also thought to promote good health and longevity.
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.
Fried leeks are a common food often served on the Chinese New Year table. Leeks are sliced into thin strips and then fried until crispy and are often flavored with seasonings such as garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.
Fried leeks are believed to symbolize wealth and good fortune and are often served as a side dish or as part of a larger meal. They can be made at home or purchased from Chinese supermarkets or restaurants.
* Learn how to say “Happy Chinese New Year” in Mandarin.
Stir-Fried Shrimp With XO Sauce
Stir-fried shrimp with XO sauce is a traditional Chinese dish often eaten during Chinese New Year. Shrimp are cleaned and shelled, then stir-fried with XO sauce, a spicy and flavorful sauce made from dried seafood and spices.
The dish is often served with steamed rice and vegetables and is believed to symbolize good luck and prosperity. It can be made at home or purchased from Chinese supermarkets or restaurants.
Nian Gao, also known as glutinous rice cake, is a traditional Chinese food often eaten during Chinese New Year. It is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water and is often flavored with seasonings such as red bean paste, coconut, or sesame.
Nian Gao is believed to symbolize a higher income or social status in the coming year and is often eaten as a sweet dessert or as part of a savory dish. It can be made at home or purchased from Chinese supermarkets or restaurants.
Tray of Togetherness
The Tray of Togetherness is a traditional Chinese food often served during Chinese New Year. It is a round tray filled with various dried fruits, nuts, and candies and is believed to symbolize togetherness and unity.
The tray is often placed on the dinner table and shared by all family members, and it is also used as a decorative element during Chinese New Year celebrations. It can be purchased from Chinese supermarkets or specialty stores or made at home.
Lucky fruits are often served on the Chinese New Year’s eve table. These fruits are believed to symbolize good luck and prosperity and are often chosen based on their auspicious names or appearances.
Some common lucky fruits for Chinese New Year include oranges, tangerines, apples, pomelos, and grapes. These fruits are often placed on the dinner table as decorations and are also given as gifts to friends and family.
Chinese New Year would not be complete without tangerines or kum, representing gold. Families buy these fruits for their 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 family’s name.
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, 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 holds a position of utmost importance within the house, serving as the gathering place for family meals. This is precisely why it is crucial to maintain cleanliness in both the kitchen and the refrigerator.
Begin by disposing of any items that are old or have expired, and replace them with fresh ingredients to prepare the Chinese New Year dinner. During the first 15 days of the Chinese New Year, ensure that the fridge is stocked with an abundance of fresh food.
To activate the center of the house, arrange a fruit plant (such as oranges or lemons), illuminate the area with lights, incorporate a representation of water, place a yellow crystal, and position a metal object. These elements symbolize the harmonious combination of the five elements, working in tandem with the auspicious annual star 8, which is believed to usher in prosperity for the family residing in the house.
Consider adorning your living space with new pictures and photo frames. This presents an excellent opportunity to display recent family photographs capturing moments of happiness within exquisite frames that exude an aura of prosperity. You can opt for golden photo frames or ones adorned with symbols like the Mystic Node or Lotus.
Now that you’re aware of the eight lucky dishes to include in your Chinese New Year celebration, it’s time to prepare these special meals in anticipation of a successful start to the New Year.
May the Year of the Dragon in 2024 bring you abundant prosperity and good fortune!