Dine In Catering
Three Must-have Foods on Your Chinese New Year Menu
Did you know that the Chinese New Year isn’t just a one-day affair? Instead, it’s a 16-day season marked by celebrations in the community and reunions among family and friends!
The foods enjoyed during the festival season are then carefully chosen based on their auspicious symbolism that, in turn, were selected based on their appearance or pronunciation (i.e., homonyms). While multiple courses are a must when celebrating the Chinese New Year, these three foods are must-haves for an auspicious beginning during the Year of the Dog and for succeeding years.
Unsurprisingly, noodles are served during the Chinese New Year because these symbolize longevity. The longer the length of the noodles, the longer your life will be so Chinese tradition dictates that these should be prepared and served in their uncut version.
If you order at a Chinese restaurant, such as Pei Wei, for your Chinese New Year noodle dishes, you will be given so-called longevity noodles. These are longer than the standard noodles served in other times of the year as well as uncut in quality. These are then fried or boiled in a flavorful broth.
According to Chinese tradition, the more lucky dumplings eaten during the New Year celebrations, the more money that can be made during the year. No wonder then that Chinese dumplings are so popular during the lunar New Year! In fact, it has been so for more than 1,800 years, especially in North China.
But don’t order just any dumplings because you may be inviting poverty instead of wealth. You should never eat sauerkraut dumplings, for example, during the Spring Festival due to its implications of poverty and hardship. Instead, dumplings with minced pork, ground chicken, beef, diced shrimp, fish, and vegetables are the best choices.
Dumplings are also supposed to be presented in lines, not circles. Again, the symbolism is crucial here – when dumplings are arranged in a circle, it means your life will just go round in circles and you will not achieve your goals.
In Chinese, the words for “fish” and “surplus” have a similar sound. Whole fish has then become a symbol for increasing prosperity in the New Year.
But don’t just serve any kind of fish either. You should only serve crucian carp for good luck, Chinese mud carp for good fortune, and catfish for good surplus. You may also want to eat two fishes but not at the same time – one on New Year’s Eve and then another one on New Year’s Day.
If you’re in doubt about your Chinese-inspired menu, you can just order from the nearest Pei Wei restaurant. You can save yourself the hassles of cooking, too!