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Most-Lucky Foods To Eat At Lunar New Year’s!

The Asian community is in the midst of a week of Lunar New Year’s observances. And one of the main ways they celebrate is eating ‘Lucky Foods’. You, too can cash in on health, wealth and happiness in 2024!

Lucky New Year's Foods - © 2024 - chinahighlights.comYou, too can cash in on health, wealth and happiness in 2024!

There are many Lucky Foods that ancient Asian wisdom dictates we should all consume at the Lunar New Year. But the focus is usually on a ‘Top 7’ selection that promise to enhance the essential dimensions of our lives.

What they are…

Fish

A whole fish, specifically. Custom dictates that this dish is associated with ‘plenty’. The fish course should be the last one left, symbolizing a ‘surplus’ at the end of the year. A surplus, in turn, symbolizes the result of good management and budgeting – over the past year and, presumably, for the year to come.

Dumplings

Jiǎozi is a classic Lucky Food. The whole family traditionally gets together to make mountains of these bite-sized soup bobbers. Lots of dumplings symbolizes ‘wealth’.

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls also symbolize wealth. They’re like a little purse full of good things! This dish is also popular during the annual Chinese Spring Festival – hence the name!

Tanguyan

Sweet Rice Balls (in clear syrup) are the centrepiece Lucky Food for the Lantern Festival, held this year on February 24. Their round shape symbolizes family and togetherness. These, too, are traditionally consumed during the Spring Festival.

Good Fortune Fruits

Brightly-coloured fruits – especially oranges – are associated with fullness and ‘plenty’. The Chinese world for ‘Tangerine’ sounds very similar to the word for ‘success’. And the written form of the word for ‘Tangerine’ contains the Chinese symbol for ‘luck’.

Niangao

Chinese New Year’s Cake contains sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates and lotus leaves. It’s name sounds almost exactly like the phrase for, “getting higher year-by-year.” Thus Niangao symbolizes attainment of a higher salary or a promotion. In general, it means ‘advancement’.

Longevity Noodles

Chángshòu Miàn are long and thin, but strong noodles. Their length symbolizes a long and healthy life. No guarantees, though, apparently. We’re told the dish specifically symbolizes ‘the wish for longevity’.

And that’s not all…

Other foods symbolize specific well-wishes:

  • Whole Chicken – ‘Wholeness’ and ‘Good Fortune’
  • Lion’s Head Meatballs – Family Unity’
  • Barbecued Pork with Taro – ‘Prosperity’
  • Shrimp – ‘Happiness’

… And there are many other foods that are consumed in various regions for various reasons.

My take

The Lunar New Year celebration continues now through this coming Saturday, February 17. This is the year of the Wood Dragon, by the way. Chinahighlights.com provides a convenient ‘calculator’ to help you discover that’s in store for you, according to your Asian Zodiac…

If you only visit Chinese restaurants occasionally, now is the time to go! You’ll be able to taste special dishes that you can only get for one week of the year.

And, if you choose your Lucky Foods carefully, you can (they say) ensure your best year ever in 2024!

~ Maggie J.

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