Lunar New Year marks the first New Moon on the lunisolar calendar and is largely celebrated by Eastern countries like China and Vietnam. This year, it falls on Friday, 2/12. 2021 is the year of the Ox which is characterized by tenacity, positivity, and honesty.
The traditions surrounding Lunar New Year are plentiful and often symbolic. Each dish on the table serves a specific purpose. Check out these 7 lucky (and delicious) foods:
Dumplings symbolize luck and family. Traditionally, the whole family works together to make dumplings late into the night on New Year’s Eve. Check out our pork dumplings recipe here.
2. Citrus fruits
Mandarin oranges and tangerines are traditionally lucky fruits for Lunar New Year and symbolize riches. Often given in tandem with a red envelope of money to single family members, the fruits are believed to invite wealth.
3. Nian gao (sweet rice cake)
Sweet rice cakes are an extremely popular dish to make, buy, and gift during the New Year. They symbolize growth and progress in the coming year. With a lightly sweet flavor, Nian gao pairs well with hot tea.
4. Longevity noodles
Egg noodles are served without breaking them or cutting them while you eat to symbolize a long life. Add wontons, egg, cha siu (roasted barbecue pork), and choy sum.
5. Whole chicken
Serving a whole, roasted chicken symbolizes unity. It’s often used as an offering to the ancestors for protection. Chicken is high in protein and yields enough for the entire family making it the perfect addition to the table.
6. Steamed fish
Serving fish symbolizes prosperity. It’s common to prepare 2 catfish – 1 for New Year’s Eve and 1 for New Year’s Day. Preparing the fish ahead of time and serving on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day symbolizes inviting wealth and prosperity year-after-year.
7. Dried oysters and black moss
The Chinese characters for oysters and black sea moss are strikingly similar to those for good fortune and prosperity, making this hearty dish perfect for New Year’s feasting. Many families add dried shiitake mushrooms for extra flavor.
Feeling inspired? Get everything you need for Lunar New Year feasting delivered with Shipt.