年年有餘 to everyone and have a beautiful, successful, lucky year.
May be all be blessed with health, love and happiness!!!!! New beginnings, I feel them tingling in my toes :] Smiles all around today!!!!
___ A little something about the food traditions thanks to wiki ___
A reunion dinner, named as “Nian Ye Fan”, is held on New Year’s Eve during which family members gather for celebration. The venue will usually be in or near the home of the most senior member of the family. The New Year’s Eve dinner is very large and sumptuous and traditionally includes dishes of meat (namely, pork and chicken) and fish. Most reunion dinners also feature a communal hot pot as it is believed to signify the coming together of the family members for the meal. Most reunion dinners (particularly in the Southern regions) also prominently feature specialty meats (e.g. wax-cured meats like duck and Chinese sausage) and seafood (e.g. lobster and abalone) that are usually reserved for this and other special occasions during the remainder of the year. In most areas, fish (traditional Chinese: 魚; simplified Chinese: 鱼; pinyin: yú) is included, but not eaten completely (and the remainder is stored overnight), as the Chinese phrase “may there be surpluses every year” (traditional Chinese: 年年有餘; simplified Chinese: 年年有余; pinyin: niánnián yǒu yú) sounds the same as “let there be fish every year.”
Red packets for the immediate family are sometimes distributed during the reunion dinner. These packets often contain money in certain numbers that reflect good luck and honorability. Several foods are consumed to usher in wealth, happiness, and good fortune. Several of the Chinese food names are homophones for words that also mean good things.
Like many other New Year dishes, certain ingredients also take special precedence over others as these ingredients also has similar sounding names with prosperity, good luck, or even counting money.
(traditional Chinese: 羅漢齋; simplified Chinese: 罗汉斋; pinyin: luóhànzhāi)
|An elaborate vegetarian dish served by Chinese families on the eve and the first day of the New Year. A type of black hair-like algae, pronounced “fat choy” in Cantonese, is also featured in the dish for its name, which sounds like “prosperity”. Hakkas usually serve kiu nyuk(Chinese: 扣肉; pinyin: kòuròu) and ngiong teu fu.|
|Chicken||Boiled chicken is served because it is figured that any family, no matter how humble their circumstances, can afford a chicken for Chinese New Year.|
|Fish||Is usually eaten or merely displayed on the eve of Chinese New Year. The pronunciation of fish (魚yú) makes it a homophone for “surpluses”(餘yú).|
|Leek||Is usually served in a dish with rondelles of Chinese sausage or waxed meat during Chinese New Year. The pronunciation of leek (蒜苗/大蒜Suàn miáo/Dà suàn) makes it a homophone for “calculating (money)” (算Suàn). The waxed meat is so chosen because it is traditionally the primary method for storing meat over the winter and the meat rondelles resemble coins.|
|Jau gok (Chinese: 油角;pinyin: yóujiăo)||The main Chinese new year dumpling. It is believed to resemble ancient Chinese gold ingots (traditional Chinese: 金元寶; simplified Chinese:金元宝; pinyin: jīnyuánbǎo)|
|jiaozi (dumplings)(Chinese: 餃子)||Eaten traditionally in northern China because the preparation is similar to packaging luck inside the dumpling, which is later eaten. The dumpling resembles a silver ingot, or money. The symbolism is prosperity.|
|Mandarin oranges||Mandarin oranges are the most popular and most abundant fruit during Chinese New Year – jin ju (Chinese: 金橘子; pinyin: jīnjúzi) translation: golden tangerine/orange or kam (Chinese: 柑; pinyin: gān) in Cantonese. Also, the name gik (橘 jú) in Teochew dialect is ahomophone of “luck” or “fortune” (吉 jí).|
(Chinese: 瓜子; pinyin:guāzi)
|Other variations include sunflower, pumpkin and other seeds. It symbolizes fertility and having many children.|
|Niángāo (Chinese: 年糕)||Most popular in eastern China (Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai) because its pronunciation is a homophone for “a more prosperous year (年高 lit. year high)”. Nian gao is also popular in the Philippines because of its large Chinese population and is known as “tikoy” (Chinese: 甜粿, from Min Nan) there. Known as Chinese New Year pudding, nian gao is made up of glutinous rice flour, wheat starch, salt, water, and sugar. The color of the sugar used determines the color of the pudding (white or brown).|
|Noodles||Families may serve uncut noodles, which represent longevity and long life, though this practice is not limited to the new year.|
|Sweets||Sweets and similar dried fruit goods are stored in a red or black Chinese candy box.|
(Chinese: 肉干; pinyin:ròugān)
|Chinese salty-sweet dried meat, akin to jerky, which is trimmed of the fat, sliced, marinated and then smoked for later consumption or as a gift.|
|Taro cakes (Chinese: 芋頭糕, yùtougāo)||Made from the vegetable taro, the cakes are cut into squares and often fried.|
|Turnip cakes (Chinese: 蘿蔔糕, luóbogāo)||A dish made of shredded radish and rice flour, usually fried and cut into small squares.|
|Yusheng or Yee sang (traditional Chinese: 魚生;simplified Chinese: 鱼生;pinyin: yúshēng)||Raw fish salad. Eating this salad is said to bring good luck. This dish is usually eaten on the seventh day of the New Year, but may also be eaten throughout the period.|
To learn more about our traditions click here. I really wish I was in Taiwan right now!
So 恭喜發財,紅包拿來 I want my red envelopes ;]