What to Eat
It wouldn’t be a Chinese festival without stuffing yourselves silly with loads of great food. Some of these foods might be weekday-dinner staples while you’re living in China – but as they’re said to bring luck around this time of year, there’s all the more reason to eat them.
With Spring Festival just around the corner, here are seven symbolic foods to get on your celebratory menu – and the good fortune they can bring you in the Lunar Year 4718.
It’s not like any of us need another excuse to eat dumplings – but we’ll give you one anyway. In appearance, the humble dumpling isn’t too far away from silver ingots, the form of currency once used in China. Dumpling making is also a great little get together alternative if you’ve overspent on bottomless brunch this month – just make sure to include plenty of pleats when folding the dumplings, or you may be in for more financial woes this coming year.
The crispy, delicious outer shell on these deep-fried dim sum rolls have a delightful golden colour, said to represent money and a wish for prosperity throughout the year.
You may recognise tangyuan from China’s Lantern Festival, but these are also chowed down during Spring Festival too. Their round shape and pronunciation sounding a lot like ‘group round’ in Chinese, associate these balls with reunions and being together.
This can refer to a number of different fruits, including the likes of tangerines, oranges and pomelos. You may have noticed a trend amongst Chinese foods for pronunciation and appearance giving certain symbolism to fruits, and these are no different; these fruits’ round and golden colour represent fullness and wealth, while the Chinese names for tangerine, orange and pomelo sound a lot like luck, success, and the verb ‘to have’, respectively.
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More specifically chángshòu miàn, meaning longevity noodles. These are extra long, and shouldn’t be cut or even chewed – so prepare your ears for an onslaught of slurping.