The dazzling celebration of Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, falls this year on February 10 marking the end of the winter solstice according to the Chinese calendar and lunar New Year. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. This year is the year of the water snake – bringing with it the possibility of luck, adventure and prosperity. As part of a multicultural society, why not take the time to learn about the unique Chinese New Year Traditions for the Year of the Snake with your friends and family:
1. The most important event of Chinese New Year is the Reunion Dinner. The reunion dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year draws all family members back home to reaffirm love and respect that bind them together as a unit. The best food is served for this feast in abundance! We love T&T Supermarkets (the largest Asian supermarket in Canada – ps.. the items from T&T are now available at Real Canadian Superstore!!). Their Crispy Crackers can make a perfect appetizer. These crispy crackers can be topped with grilled vegetables, flavourful spreads or even marinated seafood.
2. Another custom of Chinese New Year is to reconcile with loved ones, wish others peace and happiness and to forget old grudges.
3. Dumplings are considered a lucky food during this holiday. They symbolize wealth and are believed to bring abundance and prosperity because their shape resembles a Chinese ingot. Add some luck to your dinner with T&T Cooked Dumplings. You needn’t tell the guests they are ready in just 2-3 minutes..
4. Decorate your home with lanterns and banners in traditional red and gold, colours which signify wealth, longevity and good fortune.
5. Gifts are commonly given on Chinese New Year. These can be sweets such as cakes and candy or the traditional red envelopes containing ‘lucky’ money (always in even numbers, odd numbers are considered unlucky) or sometimes chocolate coins.
6. End your feast with sweet cakes. Traditional pineapple cakes like these can be found in almost any bakery in Taiwan. The moist, crumbly, golden crust surrounds a chewy, fresh-tasting filling made with intensely sweet pineapples. Alternately, Chinese Style Pastry (also known as sachima) is a moist, chewy puffed wheat snack from Taiwan resembling puffed rice squares. These treats are irresistibly sweet, slightly sticky and perfectly golden brown. The ones from T&T have no added preservatives.)
Happy New Year – or Gung Ho Fat Choy!