Lunar year, spring festival or Chinese new year is the Chinese most important festival. This is a 15-day long festival celebrated by Chinese communities. It starts off with the appearance of a new moon which appears usually by the end of January to the end of February. Chinese people get a seven days long holiday this is when they relax and have their traditional Chinese new year food. The celebrations start off with a traditional style new year’s evening dinner. The food to be eaten is most awaited as a lot of care and love is put in while making it.

Every household does their own decorations and makes their own type of food the food made symbolizes something. Some types of food are very common to every Chinese new year table they are:

1. Longevity noodles

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Longevity noodles are a sign of long life if served uncut. There are two feet long served fried or submerged in a broth. The noodles are made with soy, oyster sauces, sesame oil and other spices. The individual ingredients also symbolize different meanings

  • Roasted pig is for Peace
  • Duck for Loyalty
  • Tofu symbolizes fortune and happiness
  • Lobsters mean that endless money will roll in
  • Eggs for a healthy and big family

2. Dumplings


As they look like pouches of money thus symbolizing fortune and prosperity. The dumplings are typically filled with shrimp, green onion, Chinese cabbage, and shrimps. In a random dumpling a coin is put with filling whosoever gets that dumpling will have a great year.

3. Glutinous rice balls

Glutinous rice balls Photo by zheng juan on Unsplash

Glutinous rice balls are a sign of togetherness with your loved one or a reunion. These can be prepared sweet or savory. For savory glutinous rice balls, you will need mince meat, crushed peanuts, and mushrooms.

4. Spring rolls

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Spring rolls are one of the most commonly served foods on the Chinese new year festival. Eaten on the first day of spring they are served as dinner, appetizers, or tea time snacks. Fillings depend from person to person according to the taste of your family. But, traditionally the fillings have seasonings, shiitake, carrots, Chinese cabbage, or pork. On the other hand, the skin of the spring rolls is made with flour, water, and salt.

5. Lumpia

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Lumpia served on lunar year are a food showing hospitality. When golden fried these look like gold bars filled with carrots, beans, chicken, garlic or pork according to taste. These are said to be a lucky food.

6. Steamed fish

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Steamed fish after broiling the fish red pepper is added to it. Steamed fish signifies excess wealth. Half of the fish is eaten at dinner then the rest is kept for another time to represent the elongation of wealth. While the red pepper added to fish signifies thriving business in the new year, red is also a color of luck and festivities.

7. Rice cake soup

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Rice cake soup is a grant to people for good luck plus a year added to age of a person. The rice cake soup is made with egg, beef, green onion, and water.

8. Steamed chicken

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Steamed chicken is tender in texture, and an easy to make recipe you just have to marinate the chicken with the best available spices to get that traditional flavor. The chicken is first offered to the older members to the family. The chicken is a sign of rebirth, and family reunion and the wings of the chicken mean flying higher and getting all the achievements.

9. Rice cake

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Rice cake or niangao these words sound like going up high year by year. Rice cake is made with yellow or glutinous rice providing it with the major colors. Making this is a wish for someone to be higher and more successful every year. As they are hard you are supposed to boil them first. Cooked or steamed with vegetables or meat you can add sugar to these to make them sweet or dipping it in white sugar.

10. Sesame seeds ball

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The round shape and golden color of the sesame seeds ball or jian dui represent luck frying them makes them go bigger in size symbolizing growth. Made with eggs, flour, sesame seeds, and baking powder these are a yummy snack.

11. Hotpot

Hotpot is the star of the new dinner table. Throw whatever you like into the bubbling pot with plates of raw vegetables and meat. This is a customizable dish as you can add sauces and seasonings according to your taste. Hot pot keeps your food warm and fresh throughout.

12. Almond cookies / Chinese almond moon cakes

Almond cookies or Chinese almond moon cakes are said to bring good luck to the house they are made in. These cookies are topped with a toasted or blanched almond making them tastier. Made with flour, butter, kosher salt, and baking powder.

13. Lion’s head casserole

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Lion’s head casserole meatballs are said to bring you vigor, strength, and prosperity. They get their names because of their shape. These are made with rice wine, sesame oil, scallions, ground pork butt, ginger, and sugar. Top these with chicken broth and sweet napa cabbage to bring you a delightful taste.

14. Lucky 8 stir fry

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This is an inspiration from Buddhist vegetarian cooking. This also represents longevity, family, and wholeness. You can add or deduct anything from this but make sure you are adding all the 8 essential vegetables for the authentic taste.

15. Eight treasure rice

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When a Chinese king was overthrown eight treasure rice got its origin. Eight treasure rice is made with glutinous or sticky rice, sunflower oil, salt. Fruits are also added to it which are dried apricots, candied cherries, raisins, golden raisins, and oil for the coating of the bowl.

16. Cheese cookies / kue kaju

Cheese cookies or kue kaju are made with butter, eggs, flour, sea salt, and finely grated cheddar cheese is a rum flavored savory your family will love.

17. Pineapple tart

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Topped with pineapple jam pineapple tart is a small, bite-size new year’s snack. Pineapples are considered an auspicious fruit.

Kumquats, oranges, or tangerines are a natural common serving on the new year. These represent luck, wealth, and happiness. The gold color especially symbolizes prosperity.


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