10 Lucky Foods to Ring in Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year festive season is not only about vibrant lanterns and parades, but it is also a time to enjoy a feast of carefully chosen foods that promise good fortune for the coming year. Below we dive into the symbolism behind ten of Lunar New Year’s luckiest foods, each carrying hope to deliciously usher in the blessings of the new year. 

Cabbage (Prosperity) A humble vegetable any of time of year, in the new year cabbage takes center stage as the bearer of prosperity, symbolizing not only financial success due to its green color, but also representing 100 different types of luck because of its many layered leaves.

Whole Chicken (Wholeness and Wealth) Serving a whole chicken on your New Year’s table signifies not just a hearty meal but a celebration of wholeness and prosperity. A whole chicken is typically roasted or braised and then carved at the table to share with family and friends, symbolizing unity among loved ones.

Noodles (Longevity) The unbroken strands of noodles represent the desire for a healthy and long life, and it is seen as unlucky to break or cut noodles while cooking.

Whole Fish (Abundance) A whole fish gracing your Lunar New Year table symbolizes more than a delicious dish — it embodies the promise of abundance from the beginning of the year (the head of the fish) to the end (the tail of the fish).

Bamboo Shoots (A New Beginning) Bamboo shoots rapidly grow into fully-fledged plants, and therefore symbolize new beginnings. Incorporate them into your feast to embrace the potential for growth, rejuvenation, and fresh starts in the upcoming year.

Pork (Strength) Pork is a common symbol of abundance and strength due to a pig’s substantial size and powerful rooting habits. Pork is often served to represent the blessing of strength in the new year at Lunar New Year feasts.

Potstickers and Dumplings (Wealth) Dumplings and potstickers signify wealth and togetherness, and in some cultures it is said that the amount that you eat predicts the amount of money you’ll make in the coming year.

Shrimp (Good Fortune) The shrimp, a symbol of good fortune, brings promises of wealth, joy, health, laughter, and success to those who enjoy it during Lunar New Year celebrations.

Rice (Fertility and Luck) Rice, a staple in many cultures that celebrate Lunar New Year, symbolizes fertility and luck. Many rice ball desserts are typical of the festival and are enjoyed with wishes for a lucky and prosperous year ahead.

Citrus (Harmony) Tangerines, oranges, kumquats, and pomelos add a burst of freshness to the festivities, symbolizing prosperity and harmony.