Chinese New Year is here! While January 1st is easy to remember, the specific date of Chinese New Year changes each year, as it falls on the first day of the lunar calendar. In 2014, the first day of the new lunar year is January 31st. The New Year season is also called the Spring Festival as it begins at the start of the Spring term according to the Chinese calendar.
Festive Foods to Celebrate Chinese New Year
There are a number of festive Chinese foods that will help make any New Year's Eve celebration a success, whether you're throwing a large bash or simply enjoying a quiet dinner with a few close friends.
Below are some recipe suggestions, from cocktails and appetizers to dessert. Note: In the recipes, TB = 1 tablespoon (15 ml for European readers) and tsp = 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
Spring Festival Origins - the Legend of the Nian Gao
There is an interesting legend surrounding the origin of Chinese New Year. In ancient times, people were tormented by a beast called a Nian. The Nian had a very large mouth, which it used to swallow many people with a single bite. Finally, an old man found a way to trick the beast into disappearing. People celebrate this event at Chinese New Year. In fact, Nian means "year" in modern Chinese, and people often say Guo Nian, meaning "celebrate New Year," while the literal translation is "survive the Nian." The custom of setting off fire-crackers and decorating the home with red paper also has its origins in the myth of the man-eating beast. The loud noises and bright colors are designed to make sure Nian is too scared to ever return. The Lantern Festival marks the end of the New Year season.More Chinese New Year Articles:
Celebrating Chinese New Years - What can you do to celebrate the Chinese New Year season?
Symbolic Chinese Foods - Why are certain foods such as oranges so popular during the New Year season? Find out the symbolism behind different types of food in Chinese culture. Then, try symbolic Chinese Recipes.
Chinese Menu Ideas - menu ideas to celebrate Chinese New Year, from appetizers through to dessert.
Hot Pot - tips for cooking hot pot or fondue, and recipes, including Mongolian Hot Pot With Lamb and Fondue Chinoise