It’s Tuesday and Welcome to my Home. This week my family is celebrating a second New Year. The Lunar New Year or the Year of the Rabbit. With food and fun..
Why Celebrate the Lunar New Year ? History
It’s Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, when Asian communities around the world will say farewell to the Year of the Tiger and usher in the Year of the Rabbit.
Traditionally the celebration is marked by family reunions, parades and fireworks
According to one legend, a monster would emerge from under the Earth at the start of every year and eat villagers. Since the beast, Nian (Chinese for “year”), was afraid of bright lights, loud noises and the color red, they were used to exile the beast.
But more than just the beginning of a new calendar cycle, Lunar New Year symbolizes reunion and rebirth, marking the end of winter and the start of spring
This year, the Lunar New Year starts on Jan. 22, and will last until Feb. 1. Though celebrations last up to 16 days, only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday (Jan. 22 to Jan. 29). The celebration will reach its peak with the Lantern Festival on Feb. 5.
The zodiac animal for the 2023 Lunar New Year is the Rabbit, the fourth of all 12 zodiac animals. The last year of the Rabbit took place in 2011. In Chinese culture, rabbits represent the moon,
Per the Old Farmer’s Almanac, people born during the Year of the Rabbit are said to be very talented in many different aspects. They are said to be “affectionate people” who “often excel at forming close relationships,” per the almanac. They also appreciate peace and tranquility.
What’s on my New Year Table ?
As with Chinese New Year activities and decorations, the dishes are created to give blessings for the next year. Both the names and looks are symbols of wishes for prosperity, happiness and auspiciousness.
Though every region (even household) have different customs, there are some common dishes seen on every table
Spring Roll :
Eggrolls are probably the most well-known of Chinese cuisine. However, they’re actually “spring rolls.” They are eaten during the Spring Festival in Southern China to celebrate the coming of spring. More specifically, they are eaten on the first day of spring (立春 / lì chūn). They can appear on the table as a dinner dish, appetizer or snack.
Dumplings饺子 (jiǎo zi)
Another well-known dish, dumplings are the northern equivalent of spring rolls. They are eaten during every special occasion, but are the most significant during Chinese New Year. That’s a lot of dumplings! But there’s good reason.
Noodles长面 (cháng miàn)
In some places, it’s custom to cook dumplings and noodles together. This is called gold silk and gold ingots. It’s yet another dish to express people’s wishes for prosperity.
Spring is the season to plant new seeds. Traditionally, the Spring Festival is the best time to finish all the vegetables stored and preserved from the winter.
- Seaweed: symbolize wealth and fortune
- Lotus seeds: a blessing for many children and a healthy family
- Bamboo shoots: represent longevity, as well as going onward and up
- Muskmelon and grapefruit: symbolize family and hope. In addition, grapefruit symbolizes wealth and prosperity
- Osmanthus flower petals: in Chinese, osmanthus (桂 / guì) is a homophone 贵, which means noble and precious
- Leek/chives: leek (韭 / jiǔ) sounds similar to 久, meaning long and everlasting