Lunar New Year 2019
February 5 welcomes the Year of the Pig for the 2019 Chinese New Year. It is more accurately called Lunar New Year due to the fact that celebrations are set to the new moon and happen all across Asia. Lunar New Year celebrations are centred around family and food, and always involve lots of colour, fun and festivities!
One of the most important events is the Reunion Dinner (also known as the New Year’s Eve dinner) when all family members try to return home. If they can’t, the family will leave their spot empty and place a spare set of utensils for them. Dishes commonly seen on every table include spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, fish, chicken and rice cakes.
During New Year celebrations, families like to eat long noodles. Also called cháng shòu miàn, which means ‘longevity noodles’, the longer the noodle, the longer your life will be – so you should try to slurp them up in one go rather than cutting them. Noodle ingredients have symbolic meanings. For example, eggs means a big, healthy family; prawns means fortune; pork means peace.
Fish is a must for New Year because it symbolises wealth. Half of the fish is eaten for dinner, and the second half the next day, to prolong the ‘surplus’ and make the future prosperous as well. A whole fish also represents a harmonious and whole family.
During festivals and dinners, people will toast wine to friendships, happiness and families. Everyone at the table will at least take a sip. Not only is wine a great match to the food, it is believed that alcohol can protect from bad luck.