• Wear red! It’s a lucky colour and is thought to scare away the bad spirits!
• Repay your debts so that you have no money owning going into the New Year.
• Give or accept lucky money envelopes. If you’re married, you give lucky money to your kids, nephews and nieces. If you’re single or unmarried, you can still receive these lucky money envelopes from your parents.
• Clean, sweep or dust your house because it will sweep out the good luck.
• Wash your hair. This is also thought to wash away the good luck and good fortune.
• Speak any negative words. For example, don’t talk about death and don’t say the number “four” because this sounds like the word for “death” in Chinese.
This is always on the menu for the Lunar New Year because the Chinese word for fish sounds like the word for “abundance” or “having a lot”. Fish symbolizes an abundance of money and wealth. The steamed white fish is served whole, with the head and tail intact, as this symbolizes a good start and end to the new year. The head of the fish is turned towards the elders as a sign of respect.
The Chinese word for chicken sounds like the word for “prosperity”. In this Lucky Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe, you can use chicken breast or ground chicken. The fresh green lettuce (“choy”) represents wealth. Also, iceberg lettuce, bibb lettuce and romaine lettuce all symbolize longevity.
The boat shaped dumplings symbolize wealth and resemble the shape of the gold and silver ingots which were used as money 2,000 years ago. Legend has it that the more dumplings you can eat on New Year’s, the more money you will have in the year!
Long noodles symbolize a long life. The noodle dish is often prepared as a vegetarian entrée and is made with a variety of vegetables – carrots for the lucky colour orange, and cabbage for the wealthy “choy”.
Mandarin oranges and almond cookies
For a sweet start to the New Year, enjoy mandarins / clementines and almond cookies. Oranges with the stems and leaves intact symbolize life and longevity.