Let us explore what food is eaten when celebrations for the New Year is going on in China. During this season the menu is quite special and different, so it seems.
The Chinese people are very serious about their food. This seriousness grows manifolds when it comes to New Year’s celebrations because food is an important part of the entire festive season. Given that the Chinese attach so much importance to food the fact that food occupies a central place in New Year celebrations comes as no big surprise.
Generally, during this time of the New Year celebrations, ordinary food is not served. The food served is considered to be food of good fortune and this food service goes on for two weeks after the New Year begins. It is known as the Spring Festival because New Year occurs during the season of spring with reference to the lunar calendar.
The cuisine set for the New Year celebrations comprises no ordinary food and has some sort of symbolical meaning taggedto it as Chinese people believe in symbolism. A full chicken that is eaten as a must during New Years feasts, represents togetherness of family. All dishes eaten during this time have some symbolism or the other and are considered to be lucky food.
The helping of noodles has been an age old exercise during the New Year season. The noodles are believed to be a symbol for long life. The Chinese make use of uncut noodles because the traditional belief says that cutting the noodles brings bad luck.
The Chinese New Year food-list also includes clams and spring rolls which completely exploit the taste buds with exciting taste and symbolizes wealth and prosperity. The bouillon shape of the clams and the gold bar appearance of the spring rolls support this sort of symbolism.
There is another science to the selection of Chinese New Year food items which is based on the way a certain food item sounds. A classic example of such an item is lettuce which if pronounced in the Chinese language sounds like one is saying rising fortune. Hence lettuce envelopes around the other lucky food items are a common site during New Year.
Fruits that are available in plenty during the spring season also comes under the categoryof symbolic food that is served during the New Year festival. Two of the most important fruits that are eaten at this festive time are oranges and tangerines. This is because when they are pronounced in Chinese, they sound like prosperity and fortune. Another fruit that plays a significant role in Chinese New Year foods is grapefruit and it is a symbol of abundance.
Prettyextraordinarily, fish is related to wish as it sounds to the Chinese and it is one of the central food items served during the ceremony of New Year. Chinese supper during the Eve of New Year always concludes with the eating of a whole fish as it symbolizes abundance and togetherness.
Finally, there is a good amount of sweets and steamed cakes that are eaten like sticky rice cakes, etc that represent the fact that Chinese people can desire good things to come with the coming year.