Chinese New Year is a celebration of change. Out with the old and in with the new. The new year falls on a different date of the modern calendar each year—usually in January or February.
This year, Chinese communities all over the globe will ring in the new year on February 3rd. It’s the year of the rabbit.
Chinese New Year traditions are all about good fortune in the year ahead. You’re advised to be cautious in your actions, and be selective in what you eat. Greet people who will bring you joy.
To single people, good fortune may mean finding love. For students: good grades, and for the sick: a return to good health.
Following tradition, Chinese families clean their homes, top to bottom as New Year’s Eve approaches. One should pay all debts and resolve differences with family members, friends and associates.
Children are expected to stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve and every window and door should be opened at 12 to let go of the old year.
Often children are given new clothes and shoes on New Year, and crisp new dollar bills in red envelopes.
As for food, some of the traditions are as follows:
- Fish and chicken represent prosperity. Both are to be presented whole, not to be cut into pieces. This represents completeness for the new year.
- Oranges and tangerines symbolize good health and long life. Leave the leaves on the tangerines.
- Noodles also represent longevity. Once again they should remain whole.
We’re offering something fun to eat for Chinese New Year: Potstickers! You’ve probably enjoyed them when dining out at a favorite Chinese restaurant. Now you can try them at home with this recipe.
Speaking of Chinese restaurants, we have some recommendations. Here are three great places we recently visited—and thoroughly enjoyed.
House of Nanking, San Francisco
Empress of China, San Francisco
Phoenix Restaurant, Chicago (with video interviews)
Happy Chinese New Year, or should we say, “Gung Hey Fat Choy”? (Wishing you prosperity and wealth).
Find more recipes below.
Catch a glimpse of what it’s like to celebrate Chinese New Year at one of Chicago’s best Chinese restaurants, the Phoenix.