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.