Tomorrow, February 12, Chinese all around the world will be celebrating the Lunar New Year. A huge celebration in China and in Chinese communities in different parts of the globe, the Lunar New Year marks the first day of the traditional Chinese calendar which follows the phases of the moon. It’s usually a 15-day long celebration and families get together and eat new year feasts, all wishing for a prosperous new year.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations would have to adjust. That means staying inside, eating at home, and virtually hanging out with your loved ones. But how do you celebrate Chinese New Year— a festival that is vibrant, loud, and has lots of traditions like dragon dances— at home, when we are so used to being on the streets for it? (Read: Observe these four Chinese New Year traditions)
The answer is through food! While it may not be as festive and colorful as the past celebrations were, this year’s welcome of the Year of the Ox can still be a day worth remembering even at home. That’s why My Pope Philippines is listing some ‘lucky foods’ you can serve for your family that are perfect for the New Year!
Food for Chinese New Year: Jiao Zi
Jiao Zi is a type of dumpling that is commonly served during the Chinese New Year. It is usually round or circular in shape, much like the old Japanese currency. Jiao Zi symbolizes wealth and longevity. If you can’t find anywhere to order Jiao Zi, any dumpling will do!
Food for Chinese New Year: Spring Rolls
Spring rolls, similar to what we Filipinos love aka lumpiang shanghai, are also considered a lucky dish for the Chinese. (Read: ‘To All the Boys’ Stars Lana Condor, Ross Butler Reveal They Love Lumpia!)
That’s because spring rolls look like gold bars when they are cooked— which is true, especially if you cook it until it’s golden brown! Thus, this dish symbolizes wealth. There are many restaurants that offer spring rolls, but you can also be the one to make them yourself to alter the taste to your liking.
Food for Chinese New Year: Fish
Fish is considered lucky because of its shiny, silvery scales which symbolize wealth and prosperity. Plus, water— where the fish swims— is said to represent abundance, good fortune, and prosperity according to feng shui. (Read: 5 Ways to Manage Your Finances Amid COVID-19)
Good thing, there are a lot of fish available in the market right now given the ‘pork holiday’ imposed due to the lack of pork supply because of the African Swine Fever (ASF). So, cook your favorite fish dish tomorrow for the New Year!