Chinese New Year is a festival of celebration and catching up with our loved ones and relatives. Feasting is inevitable during this festive occasion. In Chinese traditions, there are some special Chinese New Year food that you must eat because of the deep and auspicious meanings behind them. People believed they bring good luck for the upcoming year. If you’re wondering what these food customs are, just read on and keep this list as a useful reference.
1. Fish Symbolizes Abundance of Everything
In Chinese, “fish” (鱼) sounds like ‘surplus’ and the Chinese always like to have a surplus at the end of each year. It is often also used as an auspicious greeting, “年年有余” , that representing to have a bountiful year of abundance.
2. Pineapple Tarts Usher In Good Fortune
These yummy Pineapple tarts are being called “Ong Lai” in Hokkien, that means “wealth and prosperity rolling in”.
3. Sweet Rice Cake Known as Nian Gao
Nian Gao is commonly seen in all households during Chinese New Year. The Chinese love it because of the word “Gao” that means high, so it is naturally associated with personal growth, progress and career advancement.
4. Yu Sheng / Lo Hei
Prosperity toss, also known as Yu Sheng is an essential Chinese New Year food that is usually eaten during this festive period in Singapore and Malaysia. “Yu” symbolizes abundance and “Sheng” represents rise and increase, thus Yu Sheng symbolizes an increase in abundance.
5. Mandarin Oranges – All Time Favourite Auspicious Fruit
These lucky fruits are believed to bring wealth and prosperity because of its Cantonese pronunciation that resembles “gold”. In addition, the Chinese character for orange is (橙), that has the similar pronunciation as the word ‘success’ (成).
6. Spring Rolls (春卷)
Fried spring rolls look like gold bars that imply wishing for wealth & prosperity.
7. Long Longevity Noodles
Eating longevity noodles is believed to bring long life, good health and happiness. Besides having it during Chinese New Year, it is also being served during one’s birthday.
8. Prosperity Cakes (Fa Gao / Huat Gao)
These steamed cupcakes, produced from rice flour is called Fa Gao that literally means “prosperity cake”. It t’s no surprise these sweet treats are popular during Chinese New Year with its auspicious meaning.
9. Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Ball)
The pronunciation and round shape of Tang Yuan are closely linked with reunion and togetherness. Therefore, it is very common for people to eat them during festival. They are being served during the Lantern Festival (元宵节) that falls on the 15th day after Chinese New Year (lunar calendar).
10. Chinese Dumplings
Dumplings aka Jiao Zi are popular in this festive season. This is because their shape looks like gold ingots, so it becomes a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
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