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Chinese New Year menu: Celebrate the Year of the Snake

Host your own Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year dinner with a symbolic spread that's guaranteed to keep the celebrations going all week long.

This Sunday, many will be celebrating the Chinese New Year and ushering in the Year of the Snake. The highlight of this auspicious holiday is, naturally, the meal, or rather the feast, that takes place over the 15-day celebration. During this time, family and friends get together to make a toast to happiness, luck and prosperity for the coming year. Specific foods are served to symbolize these favourable omens.

If you’re hosting a Chinese New Year dinner, here are some perfect recipes to mark the occasion.

Cocktails
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Tangerines and mandarins
These citrus fruits are commonly given to close family and friends (individually or on the vine) during this time as a symbol of wealth and luck.

Starters

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Noodles
Representing life in the Chinese culture – the longer noodles mean a longer life, so it is superstitious to cut your noodles!
Try it: Hot-and-sour shrimp soup

Lettuce
A symbol of wealth, it is commonly served because the Chinese word for ‘lettuce’ sound like ‘rising fortune.’
Try it: Sesame-chicken lettuce wraps

Mains
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Fish
In Chinese, the word ‘fish’ sounds like the word for both ‘wish’ and ‘abundance.’ For added symbolism, the fish is served whole with head and tail to mark the end of a good year and the beginning of a new one.
Try it: Steamed Red Snapper with Ginger & Scallions

Chicken
Chicken is preferably served whole during Chinese New Year to represent ‘wholeness’ or good things coming together.

Try it: Five-spice roast chicken or kung pao chicken

Dessert
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Sesame
Sesame balls are popular during the Chinese new Year season, and here’s our favourite sesame dessert.
Red
A very auspicious colour in the Chinese culture as it symbolizes good luck and abundance.