Both ancient and modern day holidays are held highly in Chinese cultures. They are almost always associated with festivals that include many customs linked with religious devotions, superstitions, and myths. These festivals originally started as mysterious taboo events and, over time, have become for pleasure gatherings and celebrations. Every festival is unique in its implication to Chinese customs and its practices. One thing these traditional celebrations have in common: the presence of unique and cultural dishes. Here are Chinese festivals and the foods associated with them.
Caution: Mouth-watering may ensue
Chinese New Year
Now, commonly referred to as Spring Festival, Chinese New Year marks the start of the lunar new year, which is when there is the start of a new moon. Because of its dependence upon the moon, the new year celebration date changes from year to year. During the Chinese New Year’s early years, all business came to a halt, and home and family became the central focus of the holiday’s observance time. Each year is named after one of the twelve zodiac animals in Chinese tradition. Each animal has attributes said to apply to the people born that year.
For Example- 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.
People born in a year of the Rooster are observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented, and confident.
However, the year of one’s birth zodiac is said to be the unluckiest according to Chinese tradition.
Here at Aling’s, we’ve got fortune cookies to help counteract that bad luck for you, Roosters!
Foods- Chinese New Year is full of great foods and snacks.
Dayu Durou-meaning “whole fish” or “whole meat.”
The phrase you yu translates to “to have fish,” meaning surplus. This dish implies an abundant year! (Expand)
Dumplings are small pockets of dough usually filled with popular ingredients, such as pork, steamed vegetables, shrimp, and more. It is a big Chinese tradition for families to spend their time New Year’s Eve preparing the dumplings and then eating them at the turn of the year at midnight.
Long Noodles (Changshou Mian)
Changshou Mian translates to long-life noodles.
These noodles are held sacred during Chinese New Year and birthdays. They symbolize a long life of happiness and health. They are usually paired with bok choy and a simple broth.
Chinese New Year Cake(Niángāo)
Niangao translates to Year Cake
Nian Gao sounds like Higher Year, so some have said eating this cake is good luck. This cake can be eaten year-round, but it is traditionally eaten for Chinese New Year. Nian Gao is a rice cake that can be served in an either sweet or savory form.
Zhonghe Festival or Longtaitou Festival
This festival is popularly known as the Dragon Boat Festival. It welcomes the earliest signs and signals of Spring. It takes place during the second lunar month of the year.
It is tradition to:
Clean the house- after the first lunar month has come to an end, it is safe to sweep and clean the house, without ridding the good luck the Chinese New Year brought.
Get a haircut–similar to the superstitions associated with cleaning your house. It is now safe to cut your hair, without ridding the good luck that the new year has brought.
And last by not least, eat great foods.
A tradition during this holiday is to eat Dragon foods.
Dumplings are called Dragon’s Ears (because well, they kind of look like ears, don’t they?).
Chinese pancakes are called Dragon’s scales.
Chinese noodles are called Dragon’s beard.
Like all Chinese Festivals, the foods and traditions vary by region. However, these are a few of the most beloved throughout Chinese culture.