When it comes to food, it is a big deal during Chinese New Year or any festival for that matter! The Chinese culture believes that certain food is auspicious and brings good luck to the family if eaten or displayed during the new year. The “reunion dinner” which is eaten among close family members the night before is an important New Year’s tradition that has been practiced since a long time ago. Here are some of the must-have auspicious food to have for the year of the ox!
1) Yee Sang
No Chinese New Year feast is complete without a plate of yee sang! Yee sang is one of the popular must-haves for the New Year as it is a traditional dish practiced since the olden days. Yee sang or lou sang is symbolic of health, prosperity and good luck. Tossing yee sang with family and friends is to wish for happiness as well as good luck to all. Yee sang is composed of fresh and preserved vegetables of different colours with some including raw fish like salmon. Sweet and salty sauces are then added to liven the flavour, accompanied by crackers and crunchy seeds! Notice how high they toss? It’s because the new year is better the higher you toss! Don’t forget the wishes too while you toss!
2) Bak Kwa
When it comes to Chinese New Year goodies, Chinese New Year is not the same without some bak kwa to indulge on, I’m sure many fellow Singaporeans will agree with this! Bak kwa is more than just barbequed meat. Besides being a popular festive snack during Chinese New Year, it’s also a tradition to give this to relatives and friends as a gift. This salty and sweet dried meat is usually made from pork but now they have chicken, beef and mutton sold in shops as well as online!
Longevity noodles or better known as long life noodles is one of the popular dishes that is traditionally served on New Year’s Day. The Chinese culture believes that eating these noodles symbolizes long and happy life in addition to a smooth new year. The noodles are typically served uncut as they believe the longer the noodles, the longer the life! If you are planning to serve them on Chinese New Year, grab them soon!
Eating or displaying mandarin oranges at home is also considered a lucky food to have during the Lunar New Year. The Chinese word for oranges means wealth and good luck. Besides that, the colour orange represents gold which also means prosperity. They are often given to relatives and friends as gifts to bring good luck and happiness when they go for house visits. It’s also important they these oranges are given in pairs except for the number 4 because it represents “death”. So, stock up your oranges before it’s too late!
Dumplings are one of the main dishes to have on Chinese New Year Eve during the reunion dinner with families. The unique shape of the dumpling is similar to that of the ancient gold or silver ingots. Therefore, it is believed to represent wealth and prosperity in the Chinese culture. Dumplings are usually filled with pork, chicken, shrimp or even vegetables and they can be fried or steamed. The Chinese dumplings are typically eaten with a dipping sauce such as soy sauce or chili. Now you can shop for the dumplings online.