Also known as the Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year begins Feb. 3, 2011. Like New Year’s festivities in the west, the Chinese New Year is a time for food, fun, family and tradition, and is the most important holiday of the year in China.
Symbols and traditions
Chinese New Year, like most holidays, is filled with symbols and traditions.
To honor the Chinese New Year, people clean their houses to discard bad luck and to get ready for a fresh start in the upcoming year. They hang red decorations and banners to wish people good fortune and health, and it’s customary to set off firecrackers which, according to lore, help scare away Nian – the beast that was thought to prey on people the night before the beginning of the Chinese New Year.
But really, what celebration would be complete without the wonderful food that everyone looks forward to all year long? This year, consider participating in a holiday you may not have otherwise celebrated. Your friends and family will enjoy the new traditions and treats and you’ll have the opportunity to create lasting memories.
Chinese New Year dishes
Set your tables using red table runners and napkins, hang festive lanterns, stock up on your firecracker supply and whip up the following traditional Chinese New Year dishes. Let the celebrations begin!
The Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune, so Zesty Chicken Lettuce Wraps make a popular (and delicious) dish.
Long noodles represent longevity. Serve Long Life Noodles to help ensure your longevity. Take care not to cut or break the noodles when serving or eating them. According to tradition, a shortened noodle means a shortened life span.
Because they look like gold bars, spring rolls are usually always on the menu. Try making Festive Chinese Spring Rolls for your guests’ good fortune.
Dumplings are a typical treat served during the New Year celebrations.Chinese New Year Dumplings with Dipping Sauce are like tasty treasure packets.
To cap off the celebrations, serve Chinese New Year Sticky Rice Cake. It is symbolic of growing taller and achieving more every year. It’s an out-of-the-ordinary, but fabulous and traditional sweet dessert your guests will love.