Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is China’s most important festival. It is time for families to be together and a week of an official public holiday.
What to Eat During Chinese New Year
Family is the basis of the Chinese society, which is seen through the significance placed on the New Year’s Eve dinner.
As with Chinese New Year activities and decorations, the dishes are created to give blessings for the next year. Both the names and looks are symbols of wishes for prosperity, happiness and auspiciousness.
Though every region (even household) have different customs, there are some common dishes seen on every table.
They are eaten during every special occasion, but are the most significant during Chinese New Year. Family members will make dumplings together in a harmonious atmosphere.
In Chinese, dumplings means “exchange” , is the exchange between the old and new year. All dumplings should be wrapped at this time. By eating dumplings, you are sending away the old and welcoming the new.
Fish is a must for the Chinese New Year. In Chinese, Fish means “surplus” or “extra.” Hope to have food or money leftover every year.
The chicken plays a sacred role throughout the New Year. To express this auspicious meaning, people keep the head and claws. People usually take chickens to worship their ancestors, expressing their nostalgia and respect for their ancestors. Praying to the ancestors for blessings and protection is still a significant part of the Spring Festival and Chinese culture.
For many, hot pot is the centrepiece of Spring Festival dinners. The bubbling soup in the pot gives off a warm and festive feeling.
Nian gao, also known as “rice cake” or “New Year cake” in English, are a must for Chinese New Year. In ancient times, nian gao were used only as offerings to the ancestors and gods. Nian gao, which means“higher”, wish to be successful and “higher” each year. Every year will be better than the last. Some humorous parents like to tell their children that eating this will help them grow taller too.
If you want to experience the local Chinese New Year, welcome! Every day is Niceday!