Lunar New Year celebrations
Lunar New Year, the spring festival is one of the most traditional Chinese holidays and it is observed by Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese populations. It marks the end of winter season and ends with Lantern Festival on the 15th day.
In 2019, the lunar New Year is falling on 5th Feb. The festival has mythical, cultural and historical significance in these Asian communities. There’s no particular food associated with the occasion, such as turkey cranberry sauce is associated with Thanksgiving Day in United States.
So, there are no specific dishes that can represent the cuisine of the lunar New Year. What is important is social get-togethers and dining with your loved ones.
Festive foods and dishes
There are countless festive foods and dishes which can make your New Year’s Eve quite a celebration. There is something for everyone, regardless of how big the party is. Whether it is a private dinner with your family and friends, or a grand gala party, the cocktails, appetizers and desserts can make the event memorable. Chicken Lettuce Cups, Chicken Lo Mein with Ginger Mushrooms, Chinese Trinidadian Stir-Fried Shrimp with Rum, Jiaozi Dumplings, Tangerine Beef, Thai Shrimp Halibut Curry and Pot Stickers are some of the dishes that the people love to eat at the New Year’s Eve.
Popular local cuisine
Homemade jiaozi (dumplings with a wheat flour wrapper) are popular in Northern China, whereas in South people love the rice dishes. Rice cakes are considered to be lucky food, as “Nian” the Chinese variant for “year” stands for rice. Apart from that meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes are also enjoyed at this occasion. Stir-fried, Nian Gao (rice cakes) is the most popular dish across China.
Below are some of the types of foods and drinks that people love to have on this occasion:
- Asian Cocktails
- Fast Food
- Vegetarian Dishes
The popular cocktails for Lunar New Year celebrations are:
- Mango Margarita: A simple margarita recipe with mango flavor
- Red Lotus: Sweet and refreshing lychee and cranberry flavor
- Mango Spice Cocktail: A Mango Vodka with mango nectar and hot jalapeno peppers
- Lotus Blossom: Martinti, vodka, Japanese sake with lychee nuts and lime flavor
- Jiaozi Dumplings: A New Year Eve dish; Jiaozi Dumplings with Dipping Sauce (Ginger Soy)
- Spring Rolls: A gold bar shape rolls are considered to be a symbol of wealth, stuffed with vegetables and barbecued meat
- Pearl Balls: A symbol of reunion, it’s a round meatball
- Lettuce Wraps: A lucky Cantonese food, where chicken meat can be replaced with dried oysters
- Potstickers: Half pan fried and half steamed dumplings served with Soy Sauce, chillies and Ginger
- Clam Sycee: A Shanghai food resembling gold is a symbol of good fortune
- Yuanxiao Dumplings: Dumplings meant for Lantern Festival the closing of New Year celebrations
Main dish recipes for Lunar New Year
- Kung Pao Chicken: A spicy Szechuan dish, with ingredients such as diced chicken, chili peppers, peanuts. The stir fried version reduces the calories of the dish.
- Peking Duck: A delicious Beijing dish made with duck slices to be taken with hoisin sauce and pancakes
- General Tso’s Chicken: An authentic Hunan chicken dish named after a Chinese army general
- Cantonese Roast Duck: A very popular and easily available shiny reddish skin Cantonese duck dish
- White Cut Chicken: A symbol of purity; a chicken poached in rice wine to turn its meat color into pure white
New Year Desserts
The popular New Year Desserts are Sticky Cake (Nian Gao), Baked Nian Gao, Peking Dust, Almond Cookies, Egg Custard Tarts, Sesame Seed Balls, Eight Precious Pudding, Five Spice Peanuts, Sago Tarts, Sweet Red Bean Soup, Sesame Seed Custard, Fortune Cookies, and Preserved Kumquats.