We’re less than a month away till we celebrate one of the most biggest festive celebrations in Malaysia, the Chinese New Year!
This year symbolises the year of the Fire Monkey which means opportunities are abundant if you’re strategic and passionate in blazing ahead with your ambitions. That said, the year of the Monkey also means unpredictability so never take things for granted and always be ready for any obstacles that might come your way.
For a boost in luck, good fortune and prosperity, indulge in these 8 essential Chinese New Year foods. Plus, find out the meaning behind these festive foods.
#1 Tangerine / Mandarin oranges
One reason why tangerines are so popular during this festive month is because in the Chinese language, the word ‘orange’ and ‘gold’ sounds similar. This citrus fruit also symbolises good luck and wealth.
Another fruit most commonly eaten during Chinese New Year is the Pomelo. The reason for this is because in Cantonese, the word ‘Pomelo’ sounds similar to the words ‘to have’ which many translate to mean continuous prosperity. It is also common to decorate your home with a pair of Pomelos as this symbolises family unity. (Image by Frédérique Voisin-Demery/Flickr)
#3 Yee Sang
Yee Sang or ‘prosperity toss’ is a big part of the Chinese New Year tradition. The dish is actually a Teochew-style raw fish salad which is tossed high up in the air by family and friends who are gathered around a round table. The words ‘Loh Hey’ meaning ‘move upwards’ is exclaimed while tossing the ingredients together to symbolise wishes for more good fortune and happiness. (Image by Su Yin Khoo/Flickr)
#4 Whole fish
In Chinese, the word ‘fish’ is called ‘Yu’ which sounds similar to the word ‘abundance’. The dish is served to symbolise wealth and should be served as a whole (with its head and tail in tact) to represent a good beginning and a good end to the new year. (Image by InterContinental Hong Kong/Flickr)
Dumplings are said to symbolise wealth because they mimic the shape of the Chinese Yuanbao, or traditional ingot-shaped coins. It is custom to prepare this delicious dish as a family and eat them at midnight during New Year’s eve. Dumplings are most commonly filled with meat or vegetables.
#6 Nian Gao
‘Nian Gao’ or sticky cake is a gelatinous, glutinous rice cake. Its pronunciation in Mandarin is identical to the words ‘year high’ or ‘year tall’. Hence, this sweet dessert is eaten to help bring wealth or higher salary in the new year. (Image by Juliana Phang/Flickr)
#7 Long noodles
It is popular belief that a dish of unbroken long noodles symbolises longevity and is commonly prepared with crunchy water chestnuts, bean sprouts and snow peas. So, if you desire long life, don’t break the noodle! (Image by Alpha/Flickr)
#8 Spring rolls
Spring rolls are eaten because these delicious rolls resembles gold bars and therefore, represents a wish for prosperity. It is typically filled with vegetables and meat, and is deep fried until golden brown.
PS. Don’t forget to check out BigSale Malaysia on all the latest Chinese New Year promotions and discounts happening this month!