We've got our eye on the Tiger this Lunar New Year. So dust off your tiger-print jacket and throw on your apron–it's time to celebrate!
This holiday is filled with rich culture and tradition that centers around the hope for good fortune and prosperity, and will be celebrated by almost two billion people across the world. If you’re joining the crowds of people ushering in the Lunar New Year, here are some of the luckiest foods to make for your celebrations! 🥠🥠🥠
But First, What is the Chinese New Year?
Every year, the Lunar New Year date changes due to one thing: the lunar cycle. Unlike the commonly used Gregorian calendar, which does not track the phases of the moon and sun, the lunisolar calendar lets you know when the phases change.
While the exact date of the holiday varies every year, it will always fall between Jan. 20 and Feb. 21 on the Gregorian calendar. The Lunar New Year is annually linked to one of 12 zodiac animals–each possessing their own character traits. In keeping with a 12-year cycle, 2022 will be the Year of the Tiger.
So, how should you celebrate? Well, fire up the stove because these easy recipes are sure to bring you lots of luck (and full bellies) this Chinese New Year!
Lucky Foods to Make This Chinese New Year
During the Lunar New Year, red is the most prominent color used; it is used in decoration, food, and most importantly, the red envelopes filled with money given to loved ones. In Chinese culture, red is associated with good luck, happiness, and joy. This means you'll see red foods like crab, peking duck, shrimp, barbecue pork, and red fruit at any traditional Lunar New Year celebration!
During the Chinese New Year, the stickiness of steamed jasmine rice symbolizes the bond of family. One of the luckiest Chinese New Year foods is an Eight Treasures Rice Pudding–a delicious rice dessert that uses sticky rice and lots of toppings like green raisins, pine nuts, black raisins, dried dates, dried wolfberries, dried apricots, and red maraschino cherries (for good luck)!
Dumplings (饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) have been considered a lucky food for the Lunar New Year for more than 1,800 years, and is traditionally eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve. In fact, tradition says that the number of dumplings you eat during the new year indicates how much money you will make that year. That’s a good enough reason to eat an extra dumpling (or three).
And what’s more lucky than finding an easy dumpling recipe? For all the busy chefs out there, this one's for you! You'll love the savory flavor of these crispy dumplings, and the simple-yet-delicious filling is made with shiitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, ginger and garlic for a classic combination of flavors.
Dumplings are traditionally arranged in straight lines instead of circles, because circles of dumplings signify that one's life will go round and round without going anywhere. If the secret to a prosperous life is more dumplings…sign us up!
Canton Spring Rolls (春卷 Chūnjuǎn /chwnn- jwen/) are fried cylinder-shaped rolls filled with meat, vegetables, or sweets. Spring rolls are usually eaten during the Spring Festival, which is where they get their name. During Chinese New Year, you’ll find that most celebrations include a plate of spring rolls.
Spring rolls are an especially lucky food to eat during the Chinese New Year because they look like gold bars–a wish for prosperity and wealth.
Chinese New Year is the perfect time of year to reach for the lusciously sweet Longan Dragon Eye Fruit 龍眼, which originates from southern China. This small fruit hides a pretty big treasure inside; a translucent, soft, white flesh that is unbelievably sweet.
This fruit gets its name (you guessed it) by the milky appearance of this fruit complete with a dark seed in the middle. Despite the strange name, this soup might become your new favorite Chinese New Year food.
Here are some additional articles if you’re interested in learning more about the Lunar New Year: