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Traditional Foods During Lunar New Year (Pt. II)

By 6 January 2022May 3rd, 2022home, what's on

Traditional Foods During Lunar New Year (Pt. II)

Lunar New Year is a time for togetherness. Families will unite and practise customs that bring each other good luck. You will see the colour red being extensively used as it is associated with wealth, good fortune, and also wards off the mythical lion-like monster “Nian”. Food is plentifully eaten, with a few dishes in particular representing special meanings. If you’re looking to add some Asian grocery items to your kitchen, visit Zetciti in Marina Square.

The pronunciation of “fish”

Served in various ways, fish is a staple to almost any table celebrating Lunar New Year. In a few Asian languages (including Mandarin) the pronunciation of fish is “yú”. This is the same way that you say “leftover”. The symbolism is that every year, you want an abudance of food or wealth such that there is a portion left over for the next year.

Spring Rolls are golden

Whilst these crispy snacks are commonly featured in Chinese restaurants around the world, they nonetheless bear special signifance when eaten during Lunar New Year. Because they resemble gold bars, they represent wealth and prosperity.

Tangyuan on the final day

If you’ve tried mochi from Japanese cuisine, you would have experienced a similar texture and mouthfeel to Tangyuan. Made from glutinous rice flour, these are addictively chewy balls with sweet fillings in the middle. These fillings are commonly black sesame or red bean. The pronunciation of “Tang Yuan” is very similar to the Chinese phrase that means togetherness and family union, hence why they are served and enjoyed. Tangyuan is typically served on the final day (fifteenth) of the Lunar New Year Festival. This day is also called the Lantern Festival.

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