How to bring in good luck with the Lunar New Year 1

How to bring in good luck with the Lunar New Year

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Jan 31 2022 03:26 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2022 03:27 PM

Chinese around the world are preparing for a feast at the dinner table tonight as they welcome the Lunar New Year. Also called the reunion dinner, families gather on the Lunar New Year’s Eve and it is an important part of the celebrations.

Grown children go home to their parents, while married couples will usually go the male’s relatives. If a family member cannot come, they reserve an empty seat at the table to symbolize his or her presence.

Now what’s served on the table requires careful selection and preparation to usher in prosperity. You don’t need to be a Chinese by birth or ancestry to join in the fun. If you’re looking to add luck to your future, time to check your closet for a red outfit and make sure all these below are served at your dinner table tonight. 

#1 Serving size counts

This is not the time to worry about leftovers. For the Chinese, the table must be groaning with food, as abundance of dishes is believed to bring the family great material wealth in the new year.

#2 Must be a whole chicken

No chopped chickens or choice parts for this dinner. We need a whole chicken that symbolizes not just prosperity but also togetherness of the family. This is why the chicken is usually served with its head, tail and feet for completeness.

#3 Of course the fish must be whole too

A whole fish symbolizes surplus or having loads of leftover money. Because of this meaning, the fish is usually not eaten completely, as leftovers are actually a good sign. If you prefer fish fillet, best to postpone that for another day.
#4 Eat wealth by way of dumplings

This is one dish that Chinese women prepare together, and if you’ve watched Crazy Rich Asians, that powerful scene was not just to show off their dumpling-making skills but also respect for elders and tradition. Dumplings are eaten throughout the New Year celebrations because it resembles the boat shape of the Chinese gold ingot. The more you eat, the more wealth you ingest. Some even time the eating at midnight, as they wish for more luck in the new year.

#5 Noodles for a long and happy life

The longevity noodles served at a Chinese celebration table is not your usual noddle dish. For one, they are longer, and two, they are uncut. It’s a lucky dish eaten mostly on birthdays for long life. It is also served during the New Year feasts to represent a wish for a happy long life.

#6 Crispy spring rolls for more wealth

Spring rolls are served on almost all Chinese celebrations, and come with a variety of fillings. You can use meat, or vegetables, or even something sweet and turn it into a dessert. It must be fried to get that golden-yellow color, which you guessed it, symbolizes money and wealth.

#7 Go for more with glutinous rice cake 

If you’re eyeing higher pay or a promotion, make sure to serve glutinous rice cake and eat your share. When pronounced in Chinese, it sounds like it means "getting higher year by year". So if you want your business to grow, or for any improvement in your life, enjoy this sticky rice usually served with chestnuts, dates and lotus leaves.

#8 Fruit of good fortune 

Some think any round fruit will pass the Chinese New Year prosperity test, but it takes more than just the shape for the fruit to be served in a Chinese reunion dinner. The favored ones are tangerines, oranges, and pomelos. Yes, they are all round but more importantly, they are "golden" in color, symbolizing fullness and wealth.

Since we can’t have firecrackers, and fireworks may not be as grand as in pre-COVID years, and I can’t imagine dancing lions and tigers to be plenty too, so let’s focus on what we can have, which is a prosperous at home dinner with the people who matter most. Gong Xi Fa Cai! 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.