While the rest of the world has already celebrated the “new year” that we’re always so excited about, the Chinese New Year is a whole different beast in itself. This is normally observed for around two weeks and two days (16 days in total), starting from the Chinese New Year all the way towards the Lantern Festival. In this period, there is a plethora of fun and engaging activities that are rich with history and tradition. Although some are relatively new and there are many families with Chinese heritage around the world that are celebrating in their own ways.
But you won’t need to wait for the Chinese New Year to come! You can start preparing as early as now so that you’ll be able to have a good time with your family. So what are some important tips to take into account when preparing for the Chinese new year? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
Celebrating Chinese New Year Through Cuisine
Let’s face it: you can’t have any celebration without a feast on the table. A Chinese heritage will always pride itself on its cuisine and cooking. That said, the food that you’ll be serving to your family or when you invite guests over is the cornerstone of any Chinese new year celebration.
Most cuisine experts would suggest having fish for this new year’s celebration. Traditionally, fish will always play an integral role in almost any Asian dish and should always be part of the Chinese New Year dinner menu. Most families want to ensure that they can make progress throughout much of the year; fish has always been a symbol of surplus. In terms of recipes, steamed fish is one of the most prevalent choices.
Another known traditional dish that’s always been prized for its savory taste is dumplings. Dumplings have been an iconic dish eaten by families celebrating Chinese New Year’s Eve, especially in the northern regions of China. Usually, they’re filled with pork, shrimp, or vegetables. Just like having fish as part of your celebration, dumplings often symbolize wealth and abundance.
Although you might be celebrating Chinese New Year, many families from around the world with Chinese heritage won’t necessarily have to limit themselves to Chinese cuisine. You can always “spice up” your celebration with a bit of local and international recipes that are definitely going to feel like there’s a burst of flavor in your mouth. For instance, most Chinese-Filipino families living in the Philippines will have their own versions of Chinese cuisine that’s hybridized with Filipino food. Spring rolls or Shanghai rolls are just one of the simpler but delicious dishes that everyone can do.
Suppose you’re looking for more localized and simple dishes. In that case, you might want to consider looking into some easy menudo recipes that will definitely give your food a fair bit of tanginess, heart-warming goodness, and sophistication that’s widely known among Asian dishes.
Celebrating the Occasion with Decorations
Well, it wouldn’t be Chinese New Year without the usual red lanterns, paper cutouts, and wearing traditional (or contemporary) Chinese outfit, would it? Although many people will usually decorate their home on the day of Chinese New Year’s Eve, you can always decorate your home a few days before the big celebration.
Not only are these decorations “for the show,” and they also have a lot of traditional significance. Placing these decorations on crucial parts of your home will usually drive negative energy away and attract even more blessings, health, graceful aging, and some peace of mind. It’s known that 2021 will be the year of the Ox, so you might want to have decorations that are Ox-themed, or at least have the figure of an ox there.
Lastly, you should sit back and have fun with friends and family members. Most parents will usually give back to the community by giving children some red envelopes during reunions. This will symbolize wealth, prosperity, and growth. Usually, red is a symbol of good luck, and money placed in these envelopes will always be considered “lucky.”
There are a variety of ways that you can celebrate the Chinese new year and prepare. Although Chinese New Year is steeped in tradition that goes back hundreds of years ago, you can always celebrate it in your way. After all, what matters is you’re spending time with your family and remembering it. But if you really want to celebrate the “old-school” way, these are some of the traditional methods of celebrating Chinese New Year.