Friday, January 27, 2017

Oranges for Chinese New Year

A beautiful seasonal mandarin that I bought yesterday.
Though I have never celebrated Chinese New Year, I've been enjoying articles about the traditional foods and why Chinese traditions associate each one with prosperity, health, a long life, and a good new year. Dumplings (shaped like an old-style gold ingot), whole fish (for which the word sounds like "wealth"), long noodles (for long life) and more -- they all sound delicious as well as propitious!
The L.A. Times article "Foods for a Chinese New Year Feast" by Christine Zhang, Frank Shyong, and Andrea Roberson particularly attracted my attention for its mouth-watering photos and descriptions.

Evidently, the celebrations consist of incredible banquets, as well as dumpling-making parties. I'm not part of anything like that, but maybe I'll make a few of these dishes for dinner during the celebration week. I'm especially intrigued by the tradition of eating yellow, orange, or gold-colored fruits such as mandarins, oranges, or grapefruits. I've seen two reasons: one is that the color looks like gold, so they are associated with wealth. Also:
"Mandarin oranges are a common fruit during the New Year. The word in Chinese for oranges, ju in the Teochew dialect, is a homophone for ji, the word for auspicious or lucky. Pomelos are another favorite. The Chinese word for pomelo, you zhi, sounds like the word for 'to have' in Chinese, which is you." -- from LA Weekly.

10 comments:

Pam said...

Very interesting post! Great fruits!

Beth F said...

Happy to eat citrus for the new year! I wouldn't say no to the other foods either!

Tina said...

Happy New Year to you. I think the year of thRokster would be a good one. I am born in the year of the monkey, no doubt Dave Matthews would like that. He seems to mention monkeys in his songs an awful lot.
Nice info from the LA Times.

The Candid Cover: YA Book Blogger said...

Now that sounds like a wonderful thing to do! I wouldn't put on an elaborate spread either, but making some dumplings would be a fun way to celebrate. Thanks for sharing these ideas! :)

Katherine P said...

How interesting! I don't think I was aware of the eating of yellow, orange or gold colored fruits so that's really interesting!

Jeanie said...

Not big on a lot of Chinese food (at least restaurant style) but I do love those little oranges. Maybe I'll indulge today!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Fun post! It is always interesting to learn about the food and holiday customs of different cultures. ;-)

Claudia said...

I'm going to make something to celebrate, don't know what yet. My husband brought home a bouquet he didn't realize was for Chinese New Year, colors are all yellow, gold and red. And in my wood block printing class some people are making the traditional New Year's greeting cards with a rooster and 2017 on it. Have a good one Mae!

jama said...

It's fascinating to learn about the symbolism behind all the Chinese New Year foods. Good health, prosperity and a long life to you!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

That looks like the perfect mandarin orange.