Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a traditional holiday that celebrates the beginning of the new year according to the lunar calendar. It is a time for families to come together, exchange gifts and enjoy special foods. This year it will be celebrated tomorrow, January 22nd, and it will be the year of the rabbit, the sign that symbolises longevity, peace and prosperity.
This year I am back in Hong Kong for new year, the first time I’ve been back since China went into lockdown during the pandemic. I was there when the outbreak had just started, three years ago. As the restrictions have eased a bit now, with no quarantine, I booked the trip to see my mother and my family.
As far back as I can remember, Chinese New Year in our house was all about food, with dumplings nights, and special meals with roast duck and whole steamed fish, always served with a green vegetable dish such as bok choi in oyster sauce. These dishes are just a few examples of the many delicious foods that are enjoyed during the festivities.
Chinese New Year is a time for families to come together and celebrate, and food plays a central role in the festivities. Traditional meals often include a variety of dishes that are believed to bring good luck and prosperity in the year to come.
These may include a whole fish, symbolising abundance and prosperity; dumplings for wealth; noodles for long life; chicken for togetherness; tangerines and oranges for wealth and good fortune. Other popular dishes that may be served at a Chinese New Year celebration include roast pork and Peking duck.
Recipe: Bok choi in oyster sauce