Our Global Kitchen: Celebrations – Chinese New Year


What’s a celebration without food? Food brings people together and forges our cultural identities. Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the lunar year. Families gather and share a reunion dinner with foods that hold symbolic meaning. Chinese New Year… it’s a time for renewal, it’s about rejuvenation. We have a reunion dinner and usually my father cooks. My father is actually -he’s not a chef by trade- but he’s an amazing cook. He’ll prepare several dishes, some of them are very symbolic. It’s important to have a whole fish at the dinner table. The Cantonese worked for fish is yu. Yu in Chinese – it sounds similar to the word for “surplus” or “extra”. My father will make “longevity noodles” because
they’re uncut and they were supposed to symbolize long life. They are a given that we’re gonna have them during Chinese New Year dinner. The tangerines are called gum in Chinese,
which sounds like “gold” and that was to symbolize prosperity. And we
would eat them, but they would also be part of the decoration in the house. I lived in Confucius Plaza, which is right
in the heart of Chinatown, so walking out and smelling the gunpowder from the firecrackers. It’s the
one time that I would get to see all of my relatives and I would get together with my
cousins. And we could probably not get together for Christmas, but we had to be home for Chinese New Year. Food is a huge part of our identity
and it’s probably one of the things that continues to tie me to my culture.

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Comments

  1. well the normal calendar is based upon the Julian Calendar made by the Romans…why dont we celebrate Italian New Year?

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