The Year of the Ox
How to celebrate Chinese New Year 2021. The date of Chinese New Year is determined by the moon. It can fall anywhere between January 21st and February 20th. In China, it is the beginning of the Spring Festival, formally celebrating the end of Winter and the start of the lunar new year. Red is the predominant colour symbolising luck, joy and happiness. You will find 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.
At home, the Chinese often decorate their houses with elaborate Chinese knots, paper decorations, and kumquats and mandarin oranges symbols of wealth and prosperity. Greeting cards are sent to friends and relatives. These are especially the case if they are unable to visit over the festival. Older Chinese people prepare lucky red envelopes of cash to give to children. You can find snacks of candied peanuts, toasted seeds and popped rice, and lots of symbolic food served at family reunion dinners
What food to eat at the Chinese New Year?
The night before Chinese New Year Chinese families collect together for a reunion dinner. It is considered 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 dumplings can be fried, steamed, or baked. Sometimes you may find a copper coin in a dumpling. Whoever finds the coin is set to become wealthy.
There can be sticky rice cakes to promote wealth, rice balls for family togetherness, and longevity noodles symbolising long life. Platters of oranges and tangerines are believed to bring good luck. This is because of their ‘golden’ colour. The Chinese for orange even sounds the same as the Chinese for success. You can pick whatever dishes you enjoy for your Chinese feast. I have included some links for some of my personal favourite Cantonese style recipes as well as some classic Chinese New Year dishes.
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. 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.