10 Must Have Chinese New Year Goodies

Chinese New Year is the time for us to indulge and we do see endless baked goodies being sold in the market and consumed throughout the 15-day festive period.Ever wondered the symbolic meaning of each snack? Let us share with you the reasons behind the snacks!

1.Bak Kwa

Source: pengguan

I don’t know about you, but Bak Kwa is my favourite CNY goodies! For those of you who do not know what’s bak kwa, it is basically thin slices of barbecued pork jerky. Back in the past, it was an expensive delicacy enjoyed by the rich and was considered as a luxurious food. Therefore, many believed that giving Bak Kwas as a gift where it brings good luck and prosperity to families.

2. Pineapple Tart

Source: Adélie

In every household, we would definitely have pineapple tarts. Pineapple Tarts are called ‘ Ong Lai’ in Hokkien which translates to prosperity. Hence, serving or eating pineapple tarts could bring prosperity and luck to the house.

3. Love Letter

Source: Miss Tam Chiak

Bet you didn’t know why they are called love letters! Back in the past, these egg rolls were used covey letters between lovers. The shape of love letters represents gold bars which are an auspicious snack and the eggs signify fertility!

 

4. Nian Gao (Glutinous rice cake)

Source: ueat.utoronto.ca

Nian gao is a sticky sweet snack where Chinese consumed or offer to the god. It also brings good luck to the household. The word ‘gao’ represent high. Hence, Chinese believe that it symbolises growth, progress, and advancement in their career or life.

5.Roasted Peanut

Source: Healthline

According to the Chinese culture, peanut represents longevity and health.Peanut also known as 花生 (hua sheng), the sheng represents life so when peanut is served in the house, it actually means that you’re wishing the person a good life ahead!

6.Logan and Red Date Tea

Source: Herbalteaonline

On the 1st day of Chinese New Year, my family would prepare a big pot of Longan and red date tea. Been drinking it for many years and yet i don’t know the meaning behind this dessert. Longans, a homophone for dragon’s eye which represent the legendary creature’s vigour while red dates which is hong zhao (红枣) in Mandarin has a meaning of prosperity comes early. They are cooked in a sugared broth with wishes for a sweet life. Oh yes, Ginkgo nuts are often added in it as the shape represents silver ingots.

7.Pistachio Nut

Source: Livestrong

I guess most of you know that pistachio in Chinese is called kai xin guo (开心果)which translate to ‘Happy nuts’. Pistachio symbolise health, happiness, good fortune, prosperity!

 

8. Gua Zi (Melon Seed)

Source:Runsociety

There are quite a few meaning for Gua Zi. One of the auspicious meaning would be Zhua yin (抓銀) which means to grab silver so it’s a visual interpretation of you grabbing a handful of melon seeds. Another meaning would be in Cantonese for gua zi would be pronounced as gua ju which means to be in constant thought of someone! Last but not least it also represents fertility which meant many sons or multiple coins.

 

9. Arrowhead Chips

Source:commons.wikimedia

Did you know that arrowhead could actually grow into a plant?It will grow into arrow-shaped leaves and the ‘arrow’ is pointing upwards which symbolises continuous improvement (步步高升). The arrowhead plant symbolises good life. Other than growing it into a plant, you could also make them into chips!

10.Mini Dried Shrimp Spring Roll

Source: Rasa Malaysia

I believed all of you know that shrimp or prawns are said to represent good fortune and happiness as in Cantonese prawns is called ‘hei’. Aside from that, spring rolls represent wealth. Therefore, the shape of the roll is meant to evoke imagery of gold bars.

 

Forget about the waistline and dig in!

 

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