My family is a mix of French-Canadian and Malaysian-Chinese, and my kids love it! So do I! At this time of year, my kids are particularly glad that they have some Asian heritage because they get to celebrate Chinese New Year. Who would not love being handed red envelopes with money in it, or eating scrumptious meals with relatives and friends over the two week celebration!
Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is a time when family and food and wishes of health and prosperity is symbolized in everything, from when to clean to what foods to serve. So, to avoid insulting anyone who honors these traditions, here are ten things you need to know about Chinese New Year!
ONE: Clean your house so that you start the new year on a good note but make sure to do it before new year’s day! Because sweeping during new year’s symbolizes bad luck as you will be sweeping out all the good things for the year.
TWO: Get a haircut. You will want to look good for new year’s festivities but cutting your hair during new year’s time is frowned upon, as it symbolized cutting away luck and fortune.
THREE: Wear red and gold. These two colours represent happiness and fortune, and your year will be full of both.
FOUR: Children receive a red packet with money (giving and receiving the envelope with two hands is customary). This symbolized the good luck coming in the new year and the casting away of bad luck. It is lucky to give double bills of money as well.
FIVE: Serve a whole chicken at the table. A whole chicken represents family unity, or unity in general. Togetherness is always a great idea.
SIX: Serve spring rolls as they symbolize wealth and money.
SEVEN: Serve noodles as they represent long life, the longer the better!
EIGHT: Serve dumplings as they represent good fortune.
NINE: Serve a whole fish at the table.
TEN: What not to eat: White foods like eggs, tofu, cheese, and no porridge for breakfast, as it symbolizes poverty.
Let’s talk about one of our family favourite dinners, the hot pot, or as I grew knowing, the steam boat. A hot pot symbolizes a prosperous year. And left overs symbolizes a plentiful or overflowing year. The hot pot is a Chinese tradition that goes back a two thousand years in China, They say that hot pots were served in the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. It is also said that Mongolian warriors would gather in a circle around their camp fire with a big hot pot to stay warm, have a hot meal, and just have a gathering. Catch me on CTV Morning Live as I share some of the yummy foods we add into our hot pot for this Chinese New Year!
Thank you so our local Great Canadian Superstore for all the yummy foods, love that we can find everything we need at our local supermarket!
Please let me know if you plan on serving any of these food or having hot pot this new year! Wishing you and your family a very happy new year filled with blessings of happiness, health, and love.