1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Chinese New Year


Nian Gao (rice cake) is a Chinese New Year staple.
Photography by Huey Yoong (www.hueyyoong.com)/Moment Open/Getty Images

Chinese New Year:

Chinese New Year is a time for feasting, family reunions and fun! Each year, Asians throughout the world spend weeks preparing for the 15-day celebration, officially called the Spring Festival. In 2014, Chinese New Year falls on January 31st. It is the year of the Horse according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
All About Chinese New Year - Learn about the mythical “Nian Gao” and why the date changes every year.
How to Celebrate Chinese New Year - fun ways to prepare for and celebrate Chinese New Year.

Symbolic Chinese New Year Food and Recipes:

Food plays a major role in Chinese New Year celebrations. Families hand out oranges, prepare harmony trays filled with lychee nuts and other snacks to symbolize good fortune, and enjoy a meal with fish and other "lucky" foods on the night before Chinese New Year.

Symbolic Chinese New Year Foods - learn which certain foods or dishes symbolize good fortune and why they are considered to be lucky.
Symbolic Recipes - From appetizers to dessert, here are recipes featuring symbolic Chinese Year foods.
Top Symbolic Chinese Foods - learn more about certain foods
List of Symbolic Chinese Foods - a handy list
Top Chinese New Year Food Days

An Entertaining Menu - Menu Ideas for a Chinese New Year Party:

Planning to host your own Chinese New Year party? Here are a number of menu ideas, with recipes, all featuring symbolic Chinese foods.

Nian Gao – Chinese New Year Cake:

Nian Gao, also called Sticky Cake or Steamed Chinese Fruitcake, is made with glutinous rice flour and filled with an assortment of dried fruits. A charming Chinese custom is for families to serve Nian Gao to the 'Chinese Kitchen God,' a mythical god who returns to heaven every new year to report on a family's behavior during the year. The more tasty the cake, the better the report!

Nian Gao - a basic recipe for this steamed cake
Baked Nian Gao Not comfortable with steaming? In this recipe the Nian Gao is steamed, giving a more "cake-like cake."

More Chinese New Year Recipes:

Along with special symbolic recipes, a number of festive dishes that are enjoyed throughout the year, such as Kung Pao Chicken and Salt and Pepper Shrimp, are also popular at Chinese New Year celebrations.

Chinese New Year Recipes- here is my complete index of Chinese New Year recipes, from main dishes, to vegetarian recipes, to make your Chinese New Year celebration a success.

Special Foods for New Year's Day:

Buddha's Delight (Jai) is traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year, both to help cleanse out the body and to honor a Buddhist tradition that nothing living should be killed on the first day of the New Year. Turnip Cake (Lo Bak) is a non-vegetarian treat that is also frequently served on Chinese New Year's Day, to symbolize prosperity and rising fortune.

Buddha's Delight Recipe
Turnip Cake Recipe

Chinese Holiday Calendar:

Chinese New Year may be China's biggest traditional holiday, but the fun doesn't end when the New Year season is over. From Chinese Valentine's Day to the Mooncake Festival, there are many Chinese holidays throughout the year, most with their own special celebratory food.

Chinese New Year Calendar 2014

Travelling to China:

Nothing beats celebrating Chinese New Year in China. Sara Naumann, About's Guide to China for Visitors, has tips on traveling to China and what to expect when you arrive.

Calendar of Traditional Chinese New Year Activities
Traveling During Chinese New Year

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.