Mention Chinese New Year food, dumplings, fish, and glutinous rice balls may come into mind. Food plays an essential role in Chinese New Year, and certain foods that have symbolic meanings of luck and auspiciousness are especially popular and indispensable during the festival. Here are 7 Chinese New Year Foods that will bring you good luck. Every dish has its symbolism deeply rooted in Chinese culture and expresses people’s good wishes for a new year.
Chinese New Year Dumplings – Wealth
The dumpling is a traditional lucky food in China and enjoys worldwide popularity now. With a history of 1,800 years, it is not only a staple food of people in Northern China but also an essential dish in various festivals, especially in Chinese New Year. Dumplings are often eaten on New Year’s Eve for its Chinese name ‘jiaozi’ has a meaning of changing of years.
Chinese New Year Fish – Surplus & Fortune
Referring to the Chinese New Year food ideas, fish is an indispensable dish at the reunion dinner. Fish has its Chinese pronunciation as ‘Yu,’ which means surplus and fortune. So there is a blessing speech as ‘Nian Nian You Yu’ in Chinese, which means that ‘May you have surpluses and bountiful harvests every year.’ What’s more, in ancient China, fish was also regarded as having a function of exorcising.
Glutinous Rice Balls (Tangyuan or Yuanxiao) – Family Reunion
Glutinous Rice Balls, aka Tangyuan and Yuanxiao, is a lucky food during the Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao Festival). However, in many places in Southern China, it is also a Chinese New Year food. Unlike dumplings, the dough of Tangyuan is made by glutinous rice powder with stuffing such as bean paste, brown sugar, and all kinds of fruits and nuts.
Chinese New Year Noodles – Longevity
There is no doubt that Longevity noodles are exceptional food for Chinese New Year. They are usually eaten at important festivals or on one’s birthday, especially for elders. Eating longevity noodles in the New Year symbolizes that everything is going to be smooth in the coming year.
Spring Rolls – Wealth and Fresh Start
It is obvious to see from the name Spring Rolls that it is a food to welcome the spring, so they are ubiquitous during the Spring Festival. Fresh vegetables or ingredients in springtime are wrapped inside, and people eat it to welcome a new spring. Now it has also become a dessert in some places in the reunion dinner.
Wontons – Wealth and Treasure
Wonton is also a kind of lucky dish you can find in the Chinese New Year food list. Like dumplings, Wontons are popular during the Chinese New Year because of the shape, which is like a Chinese silver ingot.
Glutinous Rice Cake (Nian Gao)– Rise in Career and Salary
As one of the traditional Chinese New Year foods, Glutinous Rice Cake, with a history of 1,500 years, was initially used to worship the gods and ancestors. Widely eaten in different parts of China, it is made of glutinous rice powder but varies in ingredients and flavors. These include jujube Niangao and white Niangao in Beijing, yellow rice cake in Shanxi, water mill rice cake in Ningbo, Guangdong Niangao with brown sugar, and fried Niangao with ribs in Shanghai.