Chinese New Year!

If you’re wondering why the date of Chinese New Year differs every year, it’s because it’s determined by the Chinese Lunar Calendar and this is always 21-51 days behind the international calendar we’re all familiar with. The traditional celebrations last for sixteen days starting at News Year itself, then running through to the Lantern Festival, typically marking the first full moon of the new lunar year and on the evening itself, colourful lanterns often with decorated with riddles, are lit and sent up into the night sky.

Most commonly associated with the Chinese New Year are the twelve Astrological Zodiac Animals with 2022 belongs to the Tiger. According to horoscopes people born in a year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. 

Certain foods are eaten during Chinese New Year specifically for their symbolism, focusing predominantly on luck. The auspicious symbolism of traditional new year dishes is based on their pronunciations or appearance. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, serving and eating mean a lot. 

For example in Chinese the pronunciation of the word “Fish” sounds like the words for “Surplus” and it’s considered fortunate if you’ve managed to save something at the end of the year, signifying you can make even more the following year. “Spring Rolls” are named as such because they are traditionally eaten during the festivities and look similar to gold bars when cooked, accompanied by the saying “A ton of gold” before eating, is, in fact, a wish for prosperity.

To help you understand how to celebrate the Year of the Tiger, here’s a quick snapshot of the 8 prominent lucky foods to eat at this time of year and their associated meaning:

  1. Dumplings and Potstickers: Wealth
  2. Spring Rolls / Egg Rolls: Wealth
  3. Noodles: Longevity
  4. Mandarins and Tangerines: Luck
  5. Fish: Surplus
  6. Tang Yuan Rice Balls: Reunion
  7. Buddha’s Delight: Self-Purification
  8. Fortune Candy: Luck, Happiness, and Prosperity

So, all that’s left to say is Happy Chinese New Year…新年快乐