Food & Dining

Dining Delight: Lucky Foods To Have On Your Table This Chinese New Year

Dining Delight: Lucky Foods To Have On Your Table This Chinese New Year

There are plenty of superstitions we’ve learned to associate with Chinese New Year—like, wearing red attracts good luck to you. And that lighting firecrackers and having a lion and dragon dance at your house scares evil spirits away. Or that spending time with your family and loved ones means you’ll spend more time with them in the future. A big part of many celebrations with family and friends, of course, is a good meal, and there’s just as much superstition there is when it comes our food, especially when considering our Fil-Chinese traditions!

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Given the festive mood, we list down a couple of things to have on your table to further draw the best of luck this Year of the Rat!


Fish is a very important part of a meal for Chinese New Year because of what it sounds like in Chinese. The word for fish there is "Yu"—which sounds just like the word for "surplus." Meaning, having fish for New Year attracts and brings a surplus into your life in the year to come.

(Photo courtesy of City of Dreams)


Slurping away at a bowl of noodles or twirling at a forkful of pancit always makes you think of the length of every noodle—and this metaphor isn't lost on the Chinese, either. Eating noodles means having a long life ahead of you, just like the noodles.

(Photo by Engin Akyurt via

Round food

Round food, like oranges, apples, or buchi, signify a full circle, or a return back to the beginning. Having sweets like these at the end of a meal isn't just about having dessert—this is also about closing the circle and starting the cycle again, making sure that every good meal you have comes back to you every time.

(Photo by Trang Doan via

Nian Gao/Tikoy

Nian gao, better known as tikoy here, is that rice cake so familiar to all of us, usually given by friends and family wishing you good luck for the new year. In Chinese, nian gao, which means rice cake, sounds just like the phrase "getting higher year after year."

(Photo courtesy of City of Dreams)

ALSO READ: Cheat Sheet: Small Changes That Can Make A Big Difference Toward A New You!

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