Chinese New Year Celebration: 5 Foods for Good Luck

January 10, 2020

Every culture has their own beliefs, symbols, even superstitions surrounding ‘good luck’ and ‘bad luck.’ For thousands of years, European believes that black cat is heavily linked to misfortune and death. Many people in this country believes that it is forbidden for someone to open an umbrella inside of a room, for it can bring harm to themselves and people around them. According to a study published in the International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, superstitions can’t easily be erased from society because it had been embedded in people’s mind throughout centuries, thanks to our great ancestors.
Although some of you might no longer believe in superstitions surrounding good luck or bad luck, we can’t easily look away from this interesting subject – especially when we realize that it still exists within our society. Take Chinese culture and its many different forms of lucky charms as an example. Ranging from seemingly mundane food such as noodles and cute animals like fish, Chinese people still hold this belief very dearly to their heart. Since we are about to celebrate Chinese New Year in a few weeks, let’s take a look at some of the most well-known Chinese cuisine which symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and good luck.

1. Longevity Noodles

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Longevity noodles or long life noodles is one of the staple around Chinese New Year or birthday celebration in China. There is no clear explanation of why this food had become associated with long life, but according to a legend the story can be traced back to Han Dynasty era – where people believe that someone who had a long face (mian) will have a long life. Since face (mian) sounds like Chinese word for ‘noodle,’ the story about longevity noodles was born. Every year during Chinese New Year celebration, family will serve longevity noodles as one of their dinner’s menu – hoping that it will bring luck to the entire family members. But, make sure not to cut your noodles upon cooking process, for it can bring bad luck and shorten your life!

2. Fish

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You might have seen this animal on every Chinese-themed decorations – ranging from house wallpapers to cutleries. Chinese restaurants will often serve it as one of their staple dishes, since you can cook it in many different ways. For centuries, fish had become the ultimate symbol of wealth in Chinese culture. So, it is not surprising when you see a neighbor keep certain fish like Arowana and Koi as pets – because according to Feng Shui this can be good for your financial flow. Not only being kept as a pet, of course, fish is also considered as a must-have dish during Chinese New Year. Usually cooked in its whole form (without being chopped in half), steamed or boiled fish are the most common cooking process you’ll find during this special day. Fun fact, wrote that there are even some rules of eating fish on Chinese New Year! For example, after you finish eating one side of a fish, don’t turn it to its other side for it can bring a bad luck. People in Southern China will usually leave the fish head and tail untouched to symbolize completeness.

3. Spring Rolls

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The origin of Spring Rolls and what it symbolizes can be traced back to Tang Dynasty. At that time, people will made a thin pancake filled with vegetables and fruits for their relatives as a spring present. As for during the Qing Dynasty, spring rolls were served as one of the main dishes served on Manchu Han Imperial Feast – showing how significant the role of this tiny dish was. These days, Spring Rolls are not only consume as light meal on daily basis – it has also become Chinese New Year’s staple dishes for many years. People believe that Spring Rolls are the most suitable dish to welcome the arrival of Spring, as well as to bring wealth and prosperity to the family. In many regions in China, there are varieties of Spring Rolls served on Chinese New Year. For example, in Chengdu steam Spring Rolls filled with vegetables or fried fillings are the most popular variant. As in Xiamen, Spring Rolls or pancakes are usually deep fried.

4. Rice Cake Nian Gao

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After having some savory dishes over dinner, it is time to end our meal with something light and sweet. On Chinese New Year, people will usually go with the sweet and sticky Rice Cake as dessert. There is no clear origin story behind Rice Cake’s ever-growing popularity around Chinese New Year, but some stories wrote that this snack was believed to be an offering for the Kitchen God. People will cook Rice Cake for Kitchen God so that when he eats the cake, his mouth will be stuck and he will not going to be able to talk bad about humans. Known as ‘Nian Gao’ in Chinese language, this snack symbolizes wealth and prosperity – since the name its literally translated as ‘getting higher year by year’ in English. Made with the combination of rice flour, sugar, chestnuts, dates, and lotus, Rice Cake can be served as steamed, fried, even boiled and added in soup.

5. Chicken

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We can all agree that chicken-based dish will never do us wrong – thanks to versatile nature of a chicken as a main ingredient for varieties of dishes. On Chinese New Year, a whole chicken will be served as one of the main courses on family dinner. Many people believe that not only high in protein and vitamins, chicken is also known to be a symbol of ‘rebirth’ and ‘togetherness.’ wrote that in some household, chicken’s feet bear the symbol of wealth – so it is usually given for the breadwinners of the house. Last but not least, families will also offer chicken as a gift to deceased relatives or ancestors, as means to ask for blessings and protection throughout the year.

Speaking of chicken-based dish, Singgasana Hotel Makassar has a special menu in January to make your Chinese New Year celebration even merrier. This month, guest can enjoy Singgasana’s Hainan Chicken Rice for IDR 55.000 nett/person. Head over to Cirangga Restaurant over lunch time or dinner time and you’ll get a whole new level of culinary experience with us!

Last but not least, we also have special promo for families who are planning on spending Chinese New Year with a fun staycation. Starting from IDR 450.000 nett/room/night, guests will get exclusive benefits on their stay such as breakfast for 2 persons, free angpao from Singgasana’s Angapao Tree, and free souvenir!

For more information and reservation, head over to our ‘Offer’ page and book your stay now!