Did you know that eight (8) is the luckiest number in Chinese culture? With its perfect symmetry that represents balance, eight is the feng shui symbol of good luck. Isn’t it a great idea to bring this lucky symbol into your condo design and upcoming Chinese New Year celebration?
Usher in prosperity, wealth, and happiness to your household in the Year of the Dog with eight lucky Chinese food items on your dining table. These foods are considered lucky either because of how they look or how they sound like in Chinese.
Whether you believe in Chinese traditions or not, you can’t go wrong with enjoying a sumptuous Chinese New Year feast with your family and friends.
Tikoy for family togetherness and prosperity
What’s a Chinese New Year feast without a plate full of mouthwatering tikoy?
Aside from delighting the taste buds with its mildly sweet and savory flavor, this famous sticky dessert symbolizes strong family ties. Tikoy is nian gao in Chinese Mandarin, which sounds like “higher year.” So eating this lucky Chinese food will attract a better year with higher income and status.
Typically, tikoy is dipped in beaten eggs and fried to golden brown perfection. Put a twist on it: for a crunchier tikoy, coat it with bread crumbs or sesame seeds before frying. Or wrap thin slices in lumpia wrapper for yummy turon.
Chinese dumplings for wealth
These crescent-shaped goodies look like ancient Chinese money, making them the traditional symbol of wealth. According to legend, you can make more money in the Chinese New Year by eating more dumplings, also called jiaozi. So fill your tummy with steamed, fried or baked dumplings at the start of the Year of the Dog for a wealthier year.
Don’t confuse jiaozi with wonton, though. Although these Chinese foods look quite alike, they differ in their wrapper and shape. Jiaozi is longer and has a thicker and chewier skin than wonton.
Longevity noodles for long life and happiness
Eating noodles is a Chinese New Year tradition believed to bring long life and happiness. Longevity noodles (sometimes called birthday noodles because they’re served during birthdays) are longer than regular ones. When eating them, avoid cutting the strands because it’s considered bad luck—it would mean cutting life short. Just slurp them!
You know what else can bring you a longer life? Eating healthy! Here are some healthy recipes you can prepare in your condo kitchen for a healthier you starting this year.
Lumpiang shanghai for wealth
The crisp, golden brown fried spring rolls are a hit in any Filipino party. They’re also traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year celebrations (also known as Spring Festival where spring rolls are named after). Their resemblance to gold bars makes them a symbol of wealth.
Whole chicken for unity and family togetherness
This Chinese New Year, make sure to prepare a chicken for your loved ones to share on the dining table. In Chinese culture, a family that eats a whole chicken together will enjoy a strong bond all year round. Whether roasted or steamed, serve the dish whole (including the head and feet) to signify unity and family togetherness. It’s believed that chopping chicken before serving means cutting health. Just cut the bird up when it’s already served on the table.
Whole catfish for abundance
In Chinese, catfish (niányú) sounds like “year surplus,” and eating it at the end of dinner means a wish for a surplus or abundance at the end of the year. Chinese people believe that having a surplus at year-end means they can make more money in the next year.
You can cook the fish any way you want—steam, braise or fry—as long as it’s fresh and not frozen.
How a fish is served and eaten matters in Chinese tradition, too. Like chicken, fish is traditionally served whole, with the head and tail intact. This signifies a good start and end for the coming year. It’s customary for the two people in front of the fish head and tail to drink together for good luck. There should also be some leftover on the plate to symbolize surplus.
Oranges for prosperity
Oranges are lucky fruits to eat and display on the dining table because of their round shape and gold color that represent wealth. Also, the Chinese word for orange (chéng) sounds like success.
They’re traditionally given as gifts during the Chinese New Year season, so consider yourself lucky if you receive a gift basket full of oranges.
Buy some kiat kiat, too. These small oranges are a staple in Chinese rituals for prosperity and good health, and so are regarded as lucky fruits.
Pomelos for abundance
Big, round pomelos can also bring you good luck if you have them on the dining table this Chinese New Year. The Chinese word for pomelo (yòu) sounds like “to have,” symbolizing abundance. According to Chinese tradition, the more pomelos you eat, the more wealth you’ll receive.
Pomelos are good for your health, too. They can boost your immune system and help you lose weight. So binge-eat on pomelos for good health and wealth!
There you have it: eight lucky Chinese foods your family can feast on for a prosperous, healthy, and abundant Year of the Dog. Because Chinese New Year is a special non-working holiday in the Philippines, you’ll have some free time for buying these foods and other ingredients from a grocery store or market near your DMCI Homes condo.
Have a happy and meaningful Chinese New Year celebration with your loved ones. Kung Hei Fat Choi!