with Michael Lum


Kung Hei Fat Choi!

(Happy New Year!)

Chinese New Year 2012 :


Most important part of the celebration of the New Year is the feasting. On New Year’s Eve, the extended family joins around the table for a meal which included, as the last course, a fish that was symbolic of abundance and therefore not meant to be eaten.
In the first five days of the New Year, people ate long noodles to symbolize long life.
On the 15th and final day of the New Year, round dumplings shaped like the full moon were shared as a sign of the family unit and of perfection. Given the importance of food in Chinese culture, it is not surprising that food plays a major role in Chinese New Year celebrations.

“Lucky” foods are served through the two week

Chinese New Year celebration, also called the

Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.

Symbolic Chinese Foods

What gives a certain food symbolic significance? Sometimes it is based on appearance.  For example, serving a whole chicken during the Chinese New Year season symbolizes family togetherness.

Noodles represent a long life; an old superstition says that it’s bad luck to cut them.

Both clams and Spring Rolls symbolize wealth; clams because of their resemblance to bouillon, and Spring Rolls because their shape is similar to gold bars.

On the other hand, a food may have special significance during Chinese New Year

because of the way the Chinese word for it sounds. 

 For example, the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune, so it is very common to serve a lettuce wrap filled with other lucky food.

 Tangerines and oranges are passed out freely during Chinese New Year as the words for tangerine and orange sound like luck and wealth, respectively.


And let’s not forget pomelos.  This large ancestor of the grapefruit signifies abundance, as the Chinese word for pomelo sounds like the word for “to have.”

Fish also play a large role in festive celebrations.

 The word for fish, “Yu,” sounds like the words both for wish and abundance.

 As a result, on New Year’s Eve it is customary to serve a fish at the end of the evening meal, symbolizing a wish for abundance in the coming year. For added symbolism, the fish is served whole, with head and tail attached, symbolizing a good beginning and ending for the coming year.

And what about the sweet, steamed cakes that are so popular during the Chinese New Year season?

 Sticky Rice Cake have symbolic significance on many levels.

Their sweetness symbolizes a rich, sweet life, while the layers symbolize rising abundance for the coming year.  Finally, the round shape signifies family reunion.

So if you missed the fireworks and celebrations on New Year’s Eve,

don’t worry – you’ll have another chance to celebrate.

 Chinese New Year 

 falls on January 23rd in 2012.

It is the

Year of the Dragon.

Dragon Personality
The Dragon is magnificent. He is flamboyant, attractive and full of vitality and strength. In China the Dragon is the imperial symbol, the sign of the emperor, or the male element Yang.

 The Dragon is the symbol of power and wealth…

Those who are born in the dragon year are innovative, self-assured, brave, enterprising, conceited, passionate, and quick-tempered. The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend.  In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represents an emperor and  power. Today, it  is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness.   May the celestial Dragon bring  good luck to everyone.



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