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Chinese New Year 2021 Lucky Food: From Dumplings to Whole Fish, Eat These 7 Traditional Dish to Celebrate the Year of Ox

The 15-day long traditional lunar year festival, Chinese New Year 2021 is on February 12. Also known as the Spring Festival, it is a time to bring families together. 2021 is a year of the Ox. On every Chinese New Year, people gather to enjoy a giant feast. While each year, there are lucky fruits associated with the celebration, the menu varieties prepared on the Spring Festival are also considered auspicious. Putting an ample variety of food on the table is a must. The feast varies from house to house and province to province. But there are certain auspicious dishes that almost every home makes during the Chinese New Year as beneficial symbolism for prosperity, longevity, wealth and good luck. From dumplings, to whole fish, here are seven traditional feasts, you must eat to celebrate the Year of Ox.

1. Dumplings: Pronounced as “jiaow tze,” dumplings are a signature dish in the Chinese cuisine. Not only it is delicious, but has traditional significance attached. The appearance of dumplings looks like the ancient Chinese silver ingot, which symbolises money and wealth. At times, people also wrap a coin in one of the dumplings, so it becomes a secret ‘lucky dumpling cracker.’

2. Spring Rolls: They are a Chinese New Year favourite, and this dish too symbolises wealth. The lucky saying associated with eating spring rolls is “hwung-jin wan-lyang,” which means “a ton of gold,” suggesting that spring rolls resemble gold bars.

3. Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake: Enjoyed as ‘New Year Cake’ or just ‘Year Cake,’ traditional “nian gao” is made of glutinous rice flour. It can either be sweet or savoury, depending on the region. Often wrapped in paper and commonly eaten on Chinese New Year’s eve, the sweet variety can be given as a gift for good fortune for the New Year.

4. Whole Fish: Fish is one of the essential symbolic dishes for Chinese New Year. The traditional habit is to save and make a surplus for the future. Eating a surplus fish, symbolises always having abundance and surplus year after year.

5. Pork Balls: The traditional dish is considered lucky on the Chinese New Year festival and gets listed on the lucky food menu of most feast occasions such as wedding banquets or longevity banquets for a senior’s birthday. Usually served with four meatballs—each represents fortune, pay, health and happiness.

6. Whole Chicken: Just like whole fish, a whole chicken is also a significant part of the menu. Togetherness is a theme of the Lunar New Year, and as per the Chinese beliefs, whole chicken signifies unity.

7. Oranges: They are the most traditional fruit to grace the table. Eating this fruit is believed to bring good fortune and luck to families. They are usually served at the end of the meal and also exchanged when you go visit relatives.

There is actually several layers of symbolism at play when it comes to ‘lucky’ on New Year dishes. Besides, it is also important to know that because China is one of the world’s largest countries, the ingredients and preparation of any given dish is native to a specific region.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 05, 2021 08:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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