On the eve of January 22, Chinese the world over will gather to usher in the Year of the Dragon. New Year is unlike any other festival of the lunar calendar. Preparations begin weeks in advance: Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. All accounts with tradespeople are settled and the cooks in the family pause to plan the New Year’s feast. In Chinese astrology anyone born during the year of the dragon is special and it is considered to be a year filled with good fortune- a wish we all need in these challenging times.
On New Year’s eve, the whole family gathers for a huge banquet and certain foods are de rigeur for the holiday. There may be spring rolls which symbolize bricks of gold bricks. Dumplings are often boiled, steamed, or pan-fried when they are said to resemble golden coins. Noodles symbolize and impart a wish of longevity. They are also the Chinese equivalent of a birthday cake and since everyone is a year older, the New Year is also a type of birthday celebration. Many Chinese families prefer to serve only vegetarian dishes for New Year’s meal. Bowls of oranges and tangerines are put on display to be eaten and they also imply a wish for happiness and prosperity.
Jennifer Che, of the popular website TinyUrbanKitchen.com and I got together to make TWO recipes: Jennifer made homemade dumplings from scratch (Her recipe is on her website and we have on ours to PLUS I made a simpler, but no-less-delicious recipe from my new book Simple Asian Meals :Gingery Faux Won Ton Soup with Bow Tie Pasta.
Here’s wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year filled with good fortune! ENJOY!!