The Beginner’s Guide To Celebrating Chinese New Year
THE IMPORTANT BASICS
These are the items you MUST HAVE on the night before Chinese New Year. In this case, the midnight of 02/07/16.
These items, when placed on the dining table as an offering to the gods, reflect what you hope and wish to have for the year.
So having items that have lucky symbols or meanings to them are key to a good offering (alay).
This sweet traditional Chinese pastry has been a staple every time there is an offering (alay). It’s also said to bring you luck and a sweeter life ahead. Our Mongo Special is the go to favorite, especially since it is in a red box.
Serve a whole (uncut, not fillet) fish dish during the New Year so you will never go hungry for the entire year. In Chinese, we say NIAN NIAN YOU YI (Every year there’s fish/food).
CANDIES & SWEETS
Any will do. This is for a sweeter future.
Often called the Prosperity Cake, this brings you more than enough of what you need. Which is why it looks like the cake has exploded out of its wrapper. Put 5-6 pcs of gold colored coins in the cracks for added wealth.
As the name says, this is added onto the feast for hopes of a longer life for you and your family.
BOWL OF UNCOOKED RICE (BIGAS)
WITH CHINESE LUCKY CHARMS
Get a deep bowl (that is not black) and fill it with uncooked rice (bigas). On top of the rice, place the gold lucky charms. You may also add in a few wishing papers before you put in the rice. Come midnight, you can pull out your wishing paper and whisper your wishes to it, then burn it to send your message to the gods. After new year, you can incorporate the rice from the bowl into the rice you’ll be cooking to share the luck you received with the people who will be eating it.
5 KINDS OF FRUITS
While it is ok for you to select any 5 types of sweet round fruits, it is PREFERABLE you buy these 5 (because of their symbolism):
Pineapple (ONG LAI): Invites great luck into your home.
Apple (PIANG KO): Selected for its lucky red color.
Pear (LAI YA): An invitation to the gods to come and feast with you and your family.
Pomelo/ Suha (IYU): For finer things in life.
Mandarin Orange (KIMQUAT): For prosperity.
NOODLES (BEST TO USE MISUA)
Serve a noodle dish, and make sure the noodle strings are long. Do not cut the noodles. Long strings of noodles symbolize a long life. Can also be uncooked.
COAL (NOT FOR EATING)
Helps drive away bad spirits and negative energy.
PITCHER OF WATER
So you can serve the luck gods refreshments when they dine in your home.
There’s nothing like a good piece of hopia that’s just been taken out of the oven. The warm, buttery smell fills the room, letting your lips look forward to biting into its crisp, flaky golden crust, and tasting that melt-in-your-mouth creamy filling. Suddenly everything feels like sunshine.
Most of our loyal customers know that you can experience that from our main branch in Mayon, where fresh hopia is made daily. That’s why they’ve been falling in line since 1972 to get it there before it’s even packed in boxes.
Fast forward to 2012, we at Polland Hopia decided it’s about time that all of our customers (yes, you) be able to replicate the same fresh out-of-the-oven quality when they take one of our boxes of hopia home with them.
To make that possible, we have recently improved our pastry crust to turn crispy and flaky even when it is toasted in your home oven toaster. Not only that, doing so also gives you that velvety smooth filling that simply melts in your mouth!
Don’t have an oven toaster? Well our hopia can also be toasted with the help of your microwave! Sounds crazy but we’ve tried it and it works. Just make sure to not toast it in the microwave for more than 30 seconds, and to only keep it at medium power.
To share the experience with all of you, we’ve been bringing along our mini oven to expos to show people what our hopia is like after it’s toasted. Not only that, we also give it away for free. You heard us! Free hopia!
So the next time you buy a pack of our flaky crust hopia, try it toasted.
You’ll love it.