How to Celebrate the Chinese New Year
The date Chinese New Year is determined by the moon and can fall between January 21st and February 20th . In China it is beginning of the Spring Festival, formally celebrating the start of spring. Houses, banks, offices and streets are hung with red lanterns and decorated with red banners. In parks and squares there are dragon dances, fairs and firework displays.
What food to Eat at Chinese New Year?
The night before Chinese New Year families get together for the most special meal of the year. On the menu there can numerous dishes including Chinese dumplings filled with minced pork, chicken, prawns and vegetables. These can be fried, steamed or baked. Sometimes a copper coin is put in a dumpling, and the one who eats it is supposed to become wealthy.
There can be sticky rice cakes to promote wealth, rice balls for family togetherness and longevity noodles symbolising a long life. Oranges and tangerines are believed to bring good luck because of their ‘ golden ‘ colour. The Chinese for orange even sounds the same as Chinese for success.
Whole fish is one of the most famous Chinese New Year recipes. Fish is normally the last dish served and can be grilled, steamed or boiled. Recipes include carp, weaver and catfish and it is important that there is plenty as the remainder is eaten the following day. This symbolises a surplus and indicates good fortune for the year ahead. When serving he head of the fish should be placed towards distinguished guests or older family members showing respect. The fish should only be eaten after the person who faces the fish head eats first.
Spring rolls get their name because they are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival. They are Chinese New Year dish especially popular in Eastern China. Traditionally eating Spring Rolls symbolises a ‘ ton of gold ‘ because they look like gold bars. They are made from crisp pastry wrappers filled with vegetables, minced meat and seafood.