Lunar New Year

Lunar+New+Year

Evelyn Fraire and Angelica Soltero

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s they’re all holidays in the USA but have you ever wondered about international holidays. No, right. Well, we’re here to tell you that there are other holidays that might not be as important to you but are important to other people. There is an upcoming holiday that is celebrated this year on  February 1. It is about welcoming new and good and removing the bad and the old.

Everything has a story like the Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year). The story of the Lunar New Year starts with a myth. The myth starts with the Mythical beast Nian (/Nyen/). It is said that the Nian ate livestock, crops, and people on the eve of the new year. As a solution the people started putting food at the foot of their doors as a peace offering to Nian.

Later on, an old man figured out the Nian’s weaknesses; like how it was scared of loud noises and the color red. Because of this they started using crackled bamboo (they burned the bamboo) which was later replaced with firecrackers. They also placed red lanterns and scrolls by their windows and doors to stop the Nian from coming inside their homes.

 

New years activities from the Tang to the Qing dynasties

Families would gather together and set off firecrackers, visiting relatives and friends, and enjoying dumplings together became important parts of the celebration. As well as the spring festival. As time went by more entertaining activities arose, such as watching the dragon and lion dances during the temple fair and enjoying the lantern shows. Nowadays things have gotten more up to date; for example shopping online, firework shows, and traveling, which makes the Chinese New Year more interesting and colorful.

Foods that are eaten on the Lunar New Year

On the Chinese New Year, in order to bring them luck, there are various dishes that many people of this culture prefer to eat like Dumplings. By eating them, you are sending away the old and welcoming the new. The dumplings can have whatever type of meat, vegetable, and flavor you’d like. Some people will also put a coin inside of a random dumpling. Whoever eats it will have immense luck that year. Before eating each dumpling, they say “Bringing in wealth and treasure”. Next are Spring rolls. Spring rolls are referred to as carriers of prosperity. When eating they say the phrase “a ton of gold”. Niangao. They are a sort of rice cake and are a must for Chinese New Year. “Getting high year-after-year by year” is a phrase that accompanies this dish. Sweet rice balls are like dumplings and associate with being together. Next are noodles. It’s said that the longer the noodles the better. Noodles symbolize longevity (long life). Also like the spring rolls, they express prosperity.

Dumplings will include Chinese cabbage, green onion, pork and shrimp.

 

Spring Rolls: The skins are made of flour, water and some salt. The filling for the spring roll depends on your personal taste. Traditionally the filling is made of pork and Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and seasoning.

 

Niangao is a traditional glutinous rice or yellow rice cake that is made of sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, dates, and lotus leaves.

 

Tang Yuan, known as sweet rice balls, are kind of like round dumplings. The dough consists of ground nut, sugar and lard. They are white (original) and pink (using beetroot juice instead of water to give them the color). The filling of the sweet rice balls consists of black sesame seeds and peanuts.

 

The longevity noodles are eaten on the Chinese New Year but these noodles are longer than normal noodles and uncut. The longer the better. You aren’t allowed to cut them, and you can’t chew them either you must swallow them whole. With this dish, there is great flexibility for sides and ingredients. Many vegetables and meats have symbolic meanings as well.

Eggs — Big healthy family

Lobster — endless money rolling in

Shrimp — fortune and wealth

Duck — loyalty

Peaches — longevity

Tofu — happiness and fortune for the entire family

Fish — surplus wealth

Now that you know at least a little bit of Chinese New year and what is eaten on that day maybe you would want to learn more about the culture. We are glad that we could at least teach you even a little about this special international celebration, maybe you knew about it maybe you didn’t but we’re glad you could tag along for this article. Thank You!