During the Lunar New Year, the kind of foods served and the gifts guests should bring when visiting friends and family are important customs to consider. These are some traditional dishes and foods you can find in a Chinese home during this festive season.
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What they symbolise: wealth
Did you know that dumplings have a history dating back more than 1,800 years? Widely popular in China, especially in the north, it is traditional for Chinese families to make dumplings together. Formed in the shape of a Chinese silver ingot, it is said that the more dumplings you shove into your mouth, the more wealth you will accumulate in the new year!
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2) Glutinous rice cake
What it symbolises: growth
We’re talking about work promotions, grades in school, height... anything you want to ”grow“! From Chinese to English, ”glutinous rice cake“ literally translates to “higher by the year”.
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3) Glutinous rice balls
What they symbolise: reunion
Gotta love glutinous rice balls for their chewy texture and traditional fillings like sesame and peanut! Their round shape signifies family togetherness, when everyone comes together for a reunion.
Photo credit: New York Times
4) Longevity noodles
What they symbolise: long life
More traditionally served in China, legend has it that the longer the noodles served to you, the longer you will live!
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What they symbolise: luck and success
Pump up your loved ones‘ and your own luck when you display or gift someone tangerines. Not only are they bright and orange, resembling golden ingots, the Chinese pronunciation for tangerines can either sound like ”success“ or ”luck“.
Photo credit: Chinese New Year 2018
What it symbolises: prosperity
In Chinese, the word for ”fish“ (鱼 – yú) has the same pronunciation as 余, which means “surplus” or “extra”. A typical CNY blessing is 年年有余 (Nián nián yǒuyú), wishing someone to have a surplus (or fish) of food and money that year.
What it symbolises: abundance and prosperity
Okay, so this is new and probably unheard of, but according to Foodie, Puni Puni Sushi plushies are the new lucky food. Just look at that bountiful rice cushion base, where rice is a symbol of wealth, prosperity and health, and that prosperous, fat salmon slice. Forget about golden ingots – opt instead for ikura, auspicious red caviar pearls.
Get an unconventional gift for your host when you go for a Chinese New Year visit or just buy one for your home for a lucky and prosperous new year!
Best of all, you can get these sushi cuties on our Foodie eMarket!