Celebrate Chinese New Year Table Setting
This year, the Chinese celebrate a new year on January 23. It is the year of the dragon; and in Chinese, that symbol means good fortune and is a sign of intense power.
Chinese New Year is a time for families to be together. Celebrations include having an annual reunion dinner on new year’s eve, setting off fireworks to welcome the new year, and giving lucky money in a red envelope to children. Lanterns are placed around the house. As we ring in with the new year bell, there is a traditional parade with dragon and lion dances.
Food plays a big part in this celebration. It is customary to bring gifts, such as tangerines and oranges because their Chinese names sound like “gold” and “wealth”. The host always welcomes guests with a greeting of “Come in, and let’s eat.”
Traditional foods and their meanings are:
Nian Gao (rice cake) – promotion
Noodles – long life
Peking Duck – fidelity
Whole fish with Head and tail attached – abundance in the coming year.
Whole Chicken – family togetherness and prosperity.
Shrimp – happiness
Oranges and tangerines – wealth and good fortune
Peanuts – good health and long life
Pork – strength and abundant blessings
Rice – link between heaven and earth
Seaweed – prosperous
Water Chestnuts – unity