Here Is How These Chinese New Year Food Became Lucky Moo Moo Explorer

Here Is How These Chinese New Year Food Became Lucky

28 January 2022


Here Is How These Chinese New Year Food Became Lucky

The best thing about the festive season is the food! To some cultures, the food has its individual meaning, hence, they must serve it. So during Chinese New Year, in Chinese culture, they represent the presentation of the food or pronunciation to auspicious meanings. Plus, they use common homophones (two or more words have the same pronunciation but different meanings) such as prosperity, success, and family togetherness in Chinese.

Here are some of the foods served during the Lunar New Year’s reunion dinner and their meaning!

Fish (鱼; yú)

If you see the dinner set up during the Chinese New Year reunion dinner, you’ll see a whole fish on the table. The dish is intended to welcome prosperity for the entire year.

In Mandarin, the word “surplus” (余, yú) has the same pronunciation as “fish” (鱼, yú). They even have an idiom 年年有余 (níanníanyoǔyú), meaning “to have a surplus every year.” This also means they created a pun 年年有鱼 meaning “to have fish every year.”

Plus, it’s customary to serve the whole fish and only eat the middle. It’s because of another expression in Chinese 有头有尾 (yǒutóuyǒuwěi) which literally means “to have both a head and a tail.”

The remaining parts of the fish should be eaten the next day to symbolize the surplus will overflow into the future. For added luck, the fish should face guests or elders as a sign of respect.

Dumplings ( 蒸饺; jiaozi)

If you’re a fan of Chinese historical dramas, you notice that the characters would use gold ingots as business transactions. Since dumplings share a close resemblance to gold ingots, they represent wealth.

Those who are living with the older generation, typically wrap their own dumplings and continue to do that until midnight as a symbolic gesture leaving the old year behind.

Whole Chicken (鸡肉; jīròu)

A chicken dish is typically served as a whole to represent family togetherness. In some households, the chicken’s feet are served for the breadwinners of the family. It’s symbolising them grasping onto wealth.

Spring Rolls (春卷; chūnjuǎn)

This crispy golden dish was originally intended to combine all of the season’s freshest vegetables together in one dish to celebrate spring. Because the name literally means spring and roll referring to the spring season.

Now, it’s common to see spring rolls during Lunar New Year because they resemble gold bars and people eat spring rolls to attract good fortune for the coming year.

Longevity noodles (长寿面; chángshòu miàn)

People in North China eat this auspicious noodle on Chinese New Year. These longer than normal noodles and uncut are either fried or boiled and served in a bowl with their broth.

These long noodles represent a long life to the eater. Also, it’s customary to slurp down the noodle without chewing.

Glutinous rice cake (年糕; nián gāo)

This particular dessert literally means “New Year’s cake”. Plus, the word cake sounds the same as the word “tall” or “to grow”. With that being said, eating glutinous rice on Lunar New Year symbolizes growth, whether it be in career, income, health, or even height.

Just like how the phrase 年年有余 (níanníanyoǔyú), nian gao also has a popular phrase which is 年年高升 (níanníangāoshēng). It means “to increase prosperity every year.”

Tangyuan ( 湯圓; tāngyuán)

This sweet and chewy dessert is eaten on the 15th day after the Lunar New Year. Tangyuan is a small, round dumpling made from glutinous rice flour. The fillings are traditionally made from black sesame paste, red bean paste, date paste, or peanut paste.

Tangyuan is a special dish for Lunar New Year because the name sounds like 团圆 (túanyúan) or “reunion” or “togetherness”.

Fortune Fruits

Of course, you can’t miss oranges or tangerines on Chinese New Year. These fruits symbolise fullness and wealth because they are round and “golden” in colour. Also, when you say the fruits name in Chinese, they sound lucky.

Orange and tangerine in Chinese are 橙 (chéng) that sounds the same as the word for “success”, 成. Plus, another way to write tangerine in Chinese is (桔 jú) contains the Chinese character for luck (吉 jí).

Having all those delicious, auspicious foods are great. But, sometimes there are not enough for all relatives that come over. So, you can order anything on NMooMoo and enjoy up to RM23 off a food order and RM5 off the delivery fee!

Oh! With every order, you stand a chance to win a food discount coupon worth up to RM18.80 in Spin & Win and a chance to join NMooMoo lucky draw and win a mystery gift box worth RM200.

Finally, check what your fortune looks like in the year of the Tiger according to your zodiac on Predictions According To The Chinese Zodiac 2022. Perhaps you can win lots of food discounts and the mystery gift box!

It's Your Huat Day!


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