“Lucky” Chinese New Year symbols are an important part of
celebrating the Spring Festival.
Afterall, it is the start of spring — a perfect time to
have your New Year wishes come true!
And what better way to usher in happiness, prosperity and
health than to enjoy “auspicious food” with family and
Here are the Top 8 auspicious food symbols for Chinese New
These delicious dishes are served during the
reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s eve with family
For a comphrensive list and description of more
Chinese New Year dishes and delicacies, visit:
And if you’ll like to do some cooking yourself, here are
some Chinese New Year recipes:
Top 8 Auspicious Food Symbols for Chinese New
1. Hot Pot
A steaming hot pot (or chinese fondue) with meat, seafood
and vegetables) is a must.
Huo3 in hot pot huo3 guo3 火锅 is the same word as huo3 in
hong2 huo3 红火 “prosperous and booming”.
Another must-have dish if you want to experience abundance
in the new year.
Fish yu2 鱼 is the most popular dish served during Chinese
In Chinese fish has the same sound as “surplus” and
A whole fish is served on Chinese New Year’s eve for the
Usually the fish is steamed.
It is a good omen to leave the bones and head and tail
This symbolizes surplus/abundance and a good beginning and
end in the new year.
Best served whole.
Shrimp xia1 虾 in Mandarin and ha in Cantonese sounds
like someone laughing.
Eat shrimp for happiness and well-being.
4. Boiled dumplings
A Chinese New Year tradition is eating boiled dumplings.
These are shaped like gold ingots.
Dumplings jiao3 zi 饺子 sounds like jiao1 zi3 交子which
means the hour of transition into the New Year.
Hence, in northern China, dumplings filled with meat are
eaten on Chinese New Year’s eve to usher in good luck and
wealth in the New Year.
Sometimes a coin is placed in one of the dumplings. Whoever
bites on it will have plenty of wealth in the new year.
When dumplings and yellow noodles are cooked together they
mean “golden threads through gold ingots”.
In the eastern cities of China, like Shanghai, Hangzhou and
Suzhou, egg dumplings are eaten as they look like gold
Hao2 sounds like hao3 shi4 好事 which means “good
In southern China, it is served with thin rice
6. Green vegetables
For close family ties, serve some greens.
Qing1 cai4 青菜 sounds like qing1 亲 as in qin1 re 亲热 mea
7. Sticky rice cake
Nian2 gao1 年糕.
Nian2 means year and cake gao1 sounds the
same as high gao1 高.
So eating this steamed cake made of rice flour and topped
with red dates has the meaning of attaining greater
prosperity and rank in the new year.
Known as chang2 shou4 mian4 长寿面 meaning “longevity
A wish for good fortune — Good Luck, Prosperity, Longevity,
Happiness and Abundance — is central to the Chinese way of
Even more so during Chinese New Year!
For a guide to auspicious Chinese symbols and the culture of
Chinese characters, visit Living Chinese Symbols.