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How I Celebrate Chinese New Year

By Jennifer Cheng, January 16, 2014  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Jennifer Cheng

Chinese New Year marks the Lunar New Year and it’s a time to start fresh with hopes for luck and happiness. Celebrations involve fireworks and firecrackers to scare away evil spirits from the new year, and like many of my family’s traditions, food is a big part of the festivities. We eat foods that are auspicious, such as red turtles, desserts that represent luck (with the color red) and a long, healthy life (symbolized by the dessert’s turtle shape).

Here are some other foods my family eats for Chinese New Year:

Citrus

It’s customary for guests to bring citrus fruits such as mandarins to their host or hostess. They’re a sweet symbol of good fortune and are eaten as dessert at the end of the celebratory meal.

Hot Pot

As social as it is traditional, hot pot is piping hot broth (usually kept hot over a camp stove at the table) that thinly-sliced raw meats and vegetables are dipped in to cook — think fondue-style. It’s a fun and delicious communal activity that results in a soup that constantly changes flavor as the night goes on. If you’re going to have a hot pot at your table this year, try making your own Homemade Vegetable Broth or Golden Chicken Broth.

Homemade Vegetable BrothGolden Chicken Broth

Dumplings

I started making these with my mother at a pretty young age. She would prepare the filling and I would help seal the pork, scallion, ginger and mushroom mixture into the dumpling wrappers. Dumplings are like little treasure chests of flavor that are said to bring prosperity into the new year.

Here are recipes for Spicy Asian Dumpling Soup and Pork Dumplings with Dipping Sauce that may even rival my mother’s (don’t tell her I said that)!

Pork Dumplings with Dipping Sauce

Noodles

Noodles represent longevity and are usually served alongside the hot pot. During my grandmother’s birthday celebrations, we would search for the longest noodle in our bowls and present them to my grandmother for her to eat. I have a really big family, so she always had plenty of noodles to eat! Try Asian Noodle Soup, Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup, Sesame-Peanut Noodles or Chinese-Style Longevity Noodles

Sesame-Peanut NoodlesChinese-Style Longevity Noodles

My favorite part of Chinese New Year is watching a dragon dance or lion dance where a team of dancers gets into one big bright dragon or lion costume and dances to drums and clanging cymbals.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate Chinese New Year?

 

3 Comments

Comments

Lauren says ...
These are great Chinese New Year food suggestions, thank you! Do you have a list of chinese new year activities in our local areas?
01/20/2014 1:20:09 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LAUREN - Each local store should have an event calendar up on their store page. If you don't see an updated calendar, I would suggest calling the store directly to see if they have anything planned.
01/20/2014 2:45:04 PM CST
Tiger Belcher says ...
I will spend Chinese New Year in Kaohsuing,Taiwan,with my Chinese family.Chinese food and family reunion is always #1. Fireworks will began Jan.30,Chinese New Year Jan.31,year of the horse.Dumplings,noodles,duck,red rice cake my favorites. My home is Savannah,Ga.and I love Whole Foods on Victory Drive.
01/22/2014 6:38:50 PM CST