To celebrate the first day of the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival in China, The Violin Channel wanted to learn more about the traditions of the holiday. As we welcome the Year of the Tiger — the Chinese zodiac that symbolizes great strength and bravery — families gather, elders give “red packets” for good fortune, and a thorough “spring cleaning” to sweep away bad luck takes place.
Another common tradition is a reunion feast, where family and loved ones gather around a big meal. We were curious to know what kinds of foods our friends are most excited about this holiday. What are some of your favorite new year foods or snacks? Do let us know in the comments below.
Violist Hsin-Yun Huang
“Fish” is symbolic for the Chinese New Year because the sound of this character is synonym with “leftover” which implies a good year with business. “Rice Cake” is synonymous with “reaching higher each year.” Dumplings represent harmony, celebration of togetherness and brings luck.
I love all! In an ideal world would love to celebrate more than once a year.
Cellist Liwei Qin
China is a very big country, and during the CNY, every province/region has their own traditional Lunar New Years food. As a Shanghainese, my personal favourite would be the “Eight Treasure Rice” ( 八宝饭). A sweet dish with many types of herbs and seeds infused and cooked with the rice. Dangerously delicious :)
Violinist Christian Li
My favorite Lunar New Year food is the Chinese dumplings 饺子. I have just learned how to make it, so I will be helping this New Year’s Eve at the family gathering. The other dish we will have every time at new year is fresh fish, as this dish brings you a year of abundance. The character fish has the same sound as the word “abundance” 年年有鱼(余).
Violinist Qian Zhou
Food is a centerpiece of the new year celebrations! It inspires us to sit down together with family and friends to have a wonderful conversation. On the new year table, every dish has a different auspicious meaning. My favorite is the “nian gao” rice cake, which symbolizes growth in the coming year!
Violinist Cho-Liang Lin
Two dishes remain my favorite: Buddha's Delight. It's an all-vegetable dish. It takes an enormous amount of work to wash and chop all the veggies and they have to cook in a particular order as some 10-plus vegetables are involved. The other dish is the dessert. Fried red bean mochi (otherwise called New Year's Cake). Delicious.
Violinist Chloe Chua
My favorite Lunar New Year snacks are pineapple tarts and love letters while my favorite dishes are the longevity noodles, hotpot and roasted meat.
Violinist Benny Tseng
There are so many dishes, which could be my favorite… If I had to only pick one... it would probably be the spring rolls which my grandma makes!
Violinist Richard Lin
There's a traditional Fujian dish called "Buddha jumps over the wall," basically a type of soup with tons of ingredients.
Cellist Sihao He
One of my favorite dishes is this dessert called Ba Bao Fan (Eight treasure sticky rice pudding)八宝饭. It's made from sticky rice, red bean, Chinese red dates, lutus seeds, dry orange peels, dry logan, dry raisins, sweetened chopped marrow, sugar and lard. We steam it instead of bake it. The taste of Ba Bao Fan is very rich and refreshing and it symbolizes good fortune for the New Year.
Violin Hao Zhou
Dumplings are pretty unbeatable. Personally, I’m happy to eat any Chinese food. Dim Sum is one of my absolute favorite ways to start the morning on Lunar New Year!
Cellist Bion Tsang
I always love to eat xī fàn (congee) and nián gāo (sticky rice cake). If we end up staying home this year, perhaps a huǒ guō (hot pot) is in order for us.
Violinist Luke Hsu
Other than moon cakes, dumplings are also an amazingly tasty tradition associated with the Lunar New Year.
Violinist Nikki Chooi
My favorite Lunar New Year dish would be Hot Pot with the family, sticky rice balls, and dumplings!