|A beautiful seasonal mandarin that I bought yesterday.|
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.