Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, Holidays, Recipes, Special Occasions
on December 26, 2011
Cashew Chicken
Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

According to the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. To kick off the festivities, it's customary to observe a 15-day celebration that includes a family feast on New Year’s Day. This vegetarian meal is made from root vegetables or fibrous vegetables to which many people attribute various symbolic meanings:

  • Ginkgo nut – represents silver ingots
  • Lotus seed – signifies having many male offspring
  • Black moss seaweed – is a homonym for exceeding in wealth
  • Dried bean curd – is another homonym for fulfillment of wealth and happiness
  • Bamboo shoots – is a term which sounds like “wishing that everything would be well.”

You can pay homage to the tradition anytime, though, with a meal that honors the occasion. And if you’re having trouble locating lotus seed and gingko nuts, no worries—put your own spin on the celebration with these healthful versions of Chinese classics. (Source: University of Victoria)