Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Symbolic food

What do people serve during Chinese New Year? Some “lucky” foods play a major role during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

1. Serving a whole chicken during CNY symbolized family togetherness

2. Noodles represent a long life, and an old superstition says that it is bad luck to cut them

3. Both clams and spring rolls symbolize wealth; clams because of their resemblance to bouillon and spring rolls because their shape is similar to gold bars

4. The Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune, so it is very common to serve lettuce wrap filled with other food

5. Tangerines and oranges are passed out to guests to symbolize luck and wealth

6. Pamelos in Chinese sounds like the word “to have”

7. Fish plays a major role as the word for fish “Yu” sounds like wish and abundance. So it is customary to serve fish with head and tail attached on Chinese New Year eve to symbolize a wish for abundance in the coming year.

8. “Nian Gao” (sticky rice cake) are popular due to their sweetness that symbolize rising abundance for the coming year. Finally the round shape signifies family reunion.

(This article is extracted from The Borneo Post, 2 February 2008 issue)


Zooropa said...

Yeah there r all "must have" food indeed! Wishing u & ur family Happy Chinese New Year!


Nick Phillips (15/03/1967 - 04/11/2022) said...

Interesting post. At least now I know more about the significance of some of the food during the CNY celebrations :)

And here's wishing you and your family a prosperous Chinese New Year ...