There are a lot of symbolic dishes served during Chinese New Year. Each individual dish is steeped in tradition and is a homonym for a particular wish for the upcoming year, such as “have a lot of fun” or “make a lot of money.” This year, the Spring Festival falls on 16th February. For 15 days, Chinese families around the globe return to their homes for two weeks of feasting and family bonding. Food is the cornerstone of the celebrations. So in the spirit of the festivities, Just Eat have rounded up 5 essential Chinese, or Lunar, New Year dishes, and included the significance behind them all.

Spring Rolls

spring rolls Just Eat

Spring roll is a Cantonese dim sum dish that’s named after the Spring Festival. The words chun juan literally mean spring and roll. The golden colour of the fried spring rolls represents gold bars — which, of course, symbolize wealth.

Dumplings

dumplings Just Eat

Another well-known dish, dumplings are the northern equivalent of spring rolls. They are eaten during every special occasion but are the most significant during Chinese New Year. That’s a lot of dumplings! But there’s good reason. Chinese dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots (which are not bars, but boat-shaped, oval, and turned up at the two ends). Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year.

Salt and Chilli Prawns

salt and chilli prawns Just Eat

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The saying that goes with the Chinese New Year fish dishes is “nian nian you yu,” which means “may the year bring prosperity.” The character for prosperity, yu, is a homophone for the word for fish, yu. It’s also important to leave leftovers for the next day, because this signifies that the prosperity will overflow. So always order extra!

 

Beef Chow Mein

beef chow mein

For Chinese New Year, people like to eat long noodles. They are also called 长寿面 (cháng shòu miàn), which means “longevity noodles.” You aren’t allowed to cut them and should try not to chew either. The longer the noodle, the longer your life will be. This calls for a lot of slurping!

So there you have it 4 essential dishes to order this Chines New Years. Order now on Just Eat!