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Chinese New Year Food: The Traditional Way

< href=””>Chinese New Year food is a big part of any new year celebration. In fact, the food is nothing less than central to the festivities. The Chinese New Year is similar to the Western one, but the differences are key. It is considered to be one of the most important holidays in the Chinese culture. Alternative names for it include the Spring Festival and the Lunar New Year. According to the Chinese calendar, the New Year takes place not on the first day of the first month of the year, as in the Western culture, but of the first lunar month. It lasts for about two weeks.

The neat thing about the Chinese New Year is that food, banquets of food is served for fifteen days straight until the new lunar moon, for that is when the Chinese New Year happens. Food is a huge part of this tradition. In the states, caterers are brought in and serve many, many people at all sorts of celebrations, but back in China, many of the families cook all of their own foods and cook for many, many people.

Sometimes, certain foods are served based on how they look. Entire chickens are popular because they symbolize togetherness among the family unit. When you serve an entire chicken during the celebration, it is assurance that the family will be together and stay together. This is something that all families want for the coming Chinese new year.

Noodles are another food traditionally found during Chinese New Year’s celebrations. In fact, they are practically required. In the Chinese culture, noodles symbolize a long, long life. For that reason, certain superstitions say they should not be cut. To do so would bring bad luck or worse. The inclusion of clams and Spring rolls are used to bring luck in matters of wealth. Clams are said to look a lot like bouillon. Spring rolls represent wealth because they look a bit like bars of gold.

Sometimes, foods are used because of the way the Chinese words for them sound. For example, the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like the word for fortune, so lettuce is served. Tangerines and oranges are served because the Chinese words for them sound like the words for luck and wealth. So, a good itself does not necessarily have to be lucky. If it is somehow associated with luck, that is just as beneficial.

Fish is also frequently served. It has several symbols attached to it. The Chinese word for fish is “yu.” It sounds like the words for terms of good fortune. As well, the fish itself is considered indicative of good luck. When it is served whole with both the head and tail in tact, it is indicative of the year’s good beginning and ending.

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