In 2014, the Lunar New Year spans the 15 days from January 31 through February 14, marking a time on the Chinese calendar for celebrations among family and friends. Also known as the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is filled with superstition and symbolism, all intended to produce good luck for the coming year. From whole chickens representing prosperity to noodles symbolizing long life, food plays a prominent role in the proceedings.
Here are four traditional dim sum dishes you can make to include in your own Chinese New Year festivities:
Turnip cakes are most commonly served at Lunar New Year celebrations in southern China because their name sounds similar to a phrase meaning “good luck.” Though certainly a must-have in Hong Kong and Guangdong province, turnip cakes are also found in Taiwan because the Taiwanese pronunciation similarly resembles the word for “fortune.”
Because of their name’s literal translation, spring rolls are a natural part of the Lunar New Year’s Spring Festival. Their shape and golden color make spring rolls resemble gold bars, which of course represent the wish for wealth in the coming year.
Glutinous Rice Dumplings
Dumplings are a part of daily Chinese life and take on special significance at Chinese New Year, with some families gathering to make dumplings late into the night. One variety, glutinous rice dumplings, resembles gold ingots or money pouches, either of which would bring good fortune to the maker’s home.
Sweet Rice Balls
These small, sweet white dumplings are typically eaten at the end of the Lunar New Year festival when the first full moon appears. Served in sweet soup with traditional fillings like sesame or red bean paste, these dumplings’ round shape represents a harmonious circle, reunion and family unity.
What do you think? Are there any other dim sum dishes or other foods that are essential parts of a Chinese New Year celebration?
HT: Photo by Mail Online.