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Chinese New Year Foods and Traditions


Welcome to the Year of the Dragon! Today, January 23rd, 2012 marks the Chinese New Year. The New Year comes with much celebration, of course, and food, tradition and more all leading up to the Lantern Festival on Day 15 of the New Year festivities.

So, last night was a big meal, what else is left for the Chinese Lunar New Year? Come find out. Gung Hei Fatt Choy!

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  • Long Noodles 1 of 8
    Long Noodles
    Long noodles are served often during the New Year festivities. They traditionally represent long life and shouldn't be cut while you are eating them.
    Long Life Fertility Noodles via Steamy Kitchen
    福壽雙全 Fúshòushuāngquán - "May your happiness and longevity be complete"
  • Chinese Candy Box 2 of 8
    Chinese Candy Box
    Chinese candy boxes are often put out containing sweets like chocolate, dried fruits and melon seeds. Another popular custom are the red envelopes, which are given to children and sometimes employees with money inside.
    Chinese Candy Box via Wikipedia
    萬事如意 Wànshìrúyì - "May all your wishes be fulfilled"
  • Bak Kwa 3 of 8
    Bak Kwa
    Similar to beef jerky, bak kwa makes an excellent gift as you travel to visit relatives during the New Year. Elders are visited on the first day of the New Year. The second day is when married daughters visit their parents.
    Bak Kwa via Soy and Pepper
    大展鴻圖 Dàzhǎnhóngtú - "May you realize your ambitions"
  • Mandarin Oranges 4 of 8
    Mandarin Oranges
    Eating mandarin oranges is said to bring good luck and fortune. I've also heard kumquats are a popular plant to eat or to buy the flowers for to symbolize prosperity.
    Gingered Clementine and Pomegranate Shrimp via Food for My Family
    迎春接福 Yíngchúnjiēfú - "Greet the New Year and encounter happiness"
  • Jau Gok 5 of 8
    Jau Gok
    Dumplings are often eaten as a symbol of luck and wealth. Often they are consumed on the fifth day of the New Year as businesses open again.
    Jau Gok via Fabulous Foods
    吉慶有餘 Jíqìngyǒuyú - "May your happiness be without limit"
  • Yusheng 6 of 8
    Yusheng
    Usually eaten on the seventh day for continued wealth in the New Year.
    Yusheng via SBS Food
    招財進寶 Zhāocáijìnbǎo - "When wealth is acquired, precious objects follow"
  • Buddah’s Delight 7 of 8
    Buddah's Delight
    This popular vegetarian dish is eaten for prosperity in the New Year. Vegetarian dishes are also consumed on the 13th day of the New Year in order to cleanse the body from all the rich food of the past two weeks.
    Buddah's Delight via Noob Cook
    金玉滿堂 Jīnyùmǎntáng - "May your wealth [gold and jade] come to fill a hall"
  • Tang Yuan 8 of 8
    Tang Yuan
    Traditionally eaten on the 15th day during the Lantern Festival, these glutinous rice balls are brewed in broth. Lit candles and lanterns are to guide spirits home.
    Tang Yuan via Bread et Butter

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More Chinese New Year Foods on Babble!

Top Photo Credit: Global Jet

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