It is Chinese tradition to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which falls this year on Tuesday, 5 February and is celebrated until Tuesday, 19 February, with a feast abundant in foods that are believed to bestow good luck and good fortune on those who eat them.
For those looking for a positive start to the Chinese New Year, indulging in the following foods may help edge things in that direction:
• Tea eggs are some of the most popular foods for Chinese New Year and symbolise golden nuggets, or wealth and prosperity. Eggs, more generally, symbolise fertility.
• Pipis represent coin purses, therefore wealth, as well as the opening of new horizons.
• Shiitake mushrooms are a symbol of longevity; they also symbolise sizing opportunities.
• Dumplings are another traditional must-eat food on New Year’s Eve, symbolising longevity and wealth as their shape resembles gold ingots, an early form of Chinese.
• Noodles are another symbol of longevity and it is considered unlucky to cut them.
• Fish is turbocharged with symbolism as the word in Chinese sounds like the word for both wish and abundance. A whole fish, with head and tail attached, marks the end of a good year and the beginning of a new one. A whole fish is also a symbol of prosperity.
• Chicken symbolises a good marriage and the coming together of families.
• Red is considered a lucky colour in Chinese culture, so feasts are often strewn with red food, including roast duck and tomatoes.
Try making these eight auspicious dishes by Neil Perry:
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