Food and Symbolism - Chinese New Year

Today (3 Feb 2001), is the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year. Here's my wish of Health and Happiness to all of you in the year of the Rabbit. We had a casual yet sumptuous six-course dinner at a friend's place last night (the eve of Chinese New Year).

Other than the Roasted Duck that was packed to-go from a nearby Chinese restaurant, the rest were delicious home-cooked fare prepared by my friend. For the Chinese, each dish that is enjoyed during Chinese New Year has symbolism for all things good and positive.

There were three vegetarian dishes (including a soup) and three non-vegetarian dishes (two seafood dishes + one meat dish), which was a nice balance.

百年好合 - Life-long happiness and perfect harmony in the family and hopefully, peace and harmony in the world. A dish of baby bok choy, carrots, mushrooms, and lily bulbs-百合.

万事如意, 如意吉祥 - To have one's wishes. Simple stir-fry of green onions and star-ingredient: soy bean sprouts that resembles the Ruyi 如意 Scepter.

百家乐, 黄金满地 - Happiness in the family, with prosperity and fortune spreading all over. The soup has mainly three different types of mushrooms - shitake, oyster and bunashimeji, and napa cabbage: symbolising coexisting and existing peacefully together. The crepe-like egg are like "gold bars" (fortune) - spreading over the soup

年年有余 - Abundance and surplus every year. 鱼(yu) and 余(yu) sounds alike. Most of us have a fish dish for the same reason, to have surplus and abundance 余 every time.

笑哈哈- Laughter all around. To laugh and be happy. Laughter is the best medicine, isnt' it? Prawns also called  Har (in Cantonese) sound like Ha Ha Ha (Laughing)!


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