10 Chinese New Year Food To Usher Wealth and Prosperity 2023
Chinese New Year is a time for celebrating and catching up with our loved ones and relatives. As part of the festivities, many families gather around the dinner table to enjoy delicious food that symbolizes good luck and fortune for the coming year.
From dumplings to noodles, many people believe that traditional Chinese New Year food can bring good luck when consumed during the Chinese New Year. This article will explore some of the top Chinese New Year food for good luck and their representations.
Table of Contents
- 1. Fish Symbolizes Abundance
- 2. Pineapple Tarts For Good Fortune
- 3. Sweet Rice Cake (Nian Gao)
- 4. Yu Sheng / Lo Hei Prosperity Toss
- 5. Mandarin Oranges – All Time Favourite Auspicious Fruit
- 6. Spring Rolls (春卷)
- 7. Longevity Noodles
- 8. Prosperity Cakes (Fa Gao / Huat Gao)
- 9. Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Ball)
- 10. Chinese Dumplings
1. Fish Symbolizes Abundance
In Chinese, “fish” (鱼) sounds like ‘surplus’ and the Chinese always like to have a surplus at the end of each year. It is often also used as an auspicious greeting, “年年有余” that represents to have a bountiful year of abundance.
Eating fish during Chinese New Year is a tradition passed down for centuries. Many believe that eating fish during this time will bring good luck and abundance to the family. This belief is so strong that it has become an integral part of Chinese culture, with many families preparing and eating fish on the first day of the new year. Eating fish during this time symbolizes a prosperous future and serves as a reminder to be thankful for all of life’s blessings.
2. Pineapple Tarts For Good Fortune
One of the most popular desserts served during this festive season is the yummy pineapple tarts, also known as “Ong Lai” in Hokkien, meaning “wealth and prosperity rolling in”. People eat these delicious tarts to usher in good luck in the upcoming year.
These Pineapple tarts are made with a flaky pastry crust filled with sweet pineapple jam, making them both tasty and symbolic of good luck during Chinese New Year celebrations. With their unique flavour and texture, these delectable treats will bring joy and prosperity to any gathering.
3. Sweet Rice Cake (Nian Gao)
Nian Gao can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert or even used as an ingredient in other dishes. The soft, chewy texture and sweet flavour make it a popular treat among all age groups. In addition, the Chinese love it because of the word “Gao”, which means high, so it is naturally associated with personal growth, progress and career advancement.
Whether you are looking for some Chinese New Year food to share with your family or friends or want to enjoy some delicious comfort food during the festive season, Sweet Rice Cake (Nian Gao) is sure to be a hit!
4. Yu Sheng / Lo Hei Prosperity Toss
The Chinese Lunar New Year is a time of joy and celebration, and one of the most important traditions is the Lo-Hei Yu Sheng Prosperity Toss. It is a ritual of tossing the raw fish salad with different ingredients while saying auspicious phrases. This ritual symbolizes abundance, luck, and prosperity for the upcoming year. “Yu” symbolizes abundance, and “Sheng” represents thriving and growth. Therefore, Yu Sheng suggests an increase in abundance.
The Yu Sheng Prosperity Toss has been around for centuries and has evolved to include different ingredients such as pickled ginger, shredded radish, sweet sauce, sesame oil, and more. Each ingredient has a symbolic meaning reflecting good fortune for the new year. Through this ritual, families come together to wish each other luck for the coming year.
5. Mandarin Oranges – All Time Favourite Auspicious Fruit
Mandarin oranges are a traditional food served during Chinese New Year celebrations. This citrus fruit symbolizes luck and fortune, making them the perfect addition to any New Year feast. Many associates this fruit with wealth and prosperity because of its Cantonese pronunciation, which resembles “gold”. The Chinese character for orange is (橙), which sounds like the word ‘success’ (成).
In addition, the bright orange colour of mandarin oranges also adds a festive touch to the celebration. Besides looking beautiful, they also taste delicious! You can use mandarin oranges in many dishes, such as salads, stir-fries, and desserts. They are a great way to bring luck and prosperity into your home this Chinese New Year!
6. Spring Rolls (春卷)
Eating spring rolls for Chinese New Year is passed down through generations. It symbolizes attracting wealth and good luck, as the golden-brown wrapper of the spring roll resembles gold bars.
In addition, the spring roll filling also has special meaning, with ingredients like mushrooms and vegetables signifying prosperity and abundance. Eating these delicious treats is a way to celebrate the new year with family and friends while wishing for a prosperous year.
7. Longevity Noodles
Longevity noodles are a symbol of long life, health, and prosperity. They are made from wheat flour and can be boiled or stir-fried. Eating these noodles on Chinese New Year can bring good luck and fortune.
Besides having it during Chinese New Year, it is also a common practice to serve these noodles on one’s birthday.
8. Prosperity Cakes (Fa Gao / Huat Gao)
Prosperity Cakes, also known as Fa Gao or Huat Gao, are a traditional Chinese New Year delicacy. These cakes are made with rice flour, sugar and yeast and steamed to create an airy texture. In addition, people like to decorate them with auspicious Chinese characters and symbols like the number eight for prosperity.
Prosperity Cakes are believed to bring good luck and fortune in the coming year. Eating them is also said to bring good health and wealth to all family members.
9. Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Ball)
The pronunciation and round shape of Tang Yuan are closely associated with reunion and togetherness. Therefore, eating them during the Lantern Festival (元宵节) is prevalent, which falls on the 15th day after the Chinese New Year (lunar calendar).
10. Chinese Dumplings
The Chinese love to eat dumplings, aka Jiao Zi, during this festive season. Their shape looks like gold ingots, so it becomes a symbol of wealth and prosperity.