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Chinese New Year Banquets Bring Good Luck, Happiness and Prosperity for the New Year
Date:2/13/2010

New Year food is symbolic and represents good luck, prosperity and health. Traditional banquet items include dumplings (representing good luck, fortune, and family togetherness), lettuce (representing prosperity) and fish, (in the Chinese language this is the same word for "success" or "abundance"). Noodles also are a Chinese New Year staple and they are never cut, as they symbolize a long-life.

Chinese Restaurant News recommends the following dishes for those seeking to hold their own New Year’s celebration. Eight traditional dishes were selected because in Chinese, the word “eight” sounds like “good luck.”

Jiaozi – These “luck-telling” traditional Chinese dumplings are essential during Lunar New Year in Northern China. During preparation, the cook may hide a coin in one of the dumplings. The person who finds the coin will likely have a good fortune in the New Year. Having the luck-telling jiaozi during the Lunar New Year festival is just like taking fortune cookies in Chinese restaurants in the west. Common dumpling fillings include pork, mutton, beef, fish, and shrimp which are usually mixed with chopped vegetables.

Nian Gao – Chinese believe this auspicious dish can bring good fortune in the year ahead, both for its name and its sticky texture. It is made of glutinous rice flour, and features a sticky, soft and creamy texture. For this reason, it represents the family that sticks together, and is a must at Lunar New Year to wish for a family reunion. Sticky Cake is steamed and made with glutinous rice flour and dried fruit. Traditionally, Sticky Cake is made with a Chinese brown candy that is available at Asian markets.

Yuanxiao – A special food for the Lantern Festival, or Yuanxiao Festival, which takes place at the end of the Chinese New Year celebration, this dish is a kind of sweet dumpling rice ball. Yuanxiao is sticky, sweet and round in
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