February holds a couple big celebrations for being the shortest month of the year. Valentine’s Day, February 14, followed by Chinese New Year on Thursday, February 19. This CNY (Chinese New Year) rings in the year of the sheep. Whiles Valentine’s Day celebrates couples, Chinese New Year is a celebration of family and friends. Hence, the reunion dinner, a large part of CNY celebrations.
The feast includes symbolic foods that usher in long life, prosperity and good luck. Typical foods include spring rolls, lettuce wraps, dumplings, whole fish, noodles, long leafy vegetables, and oranges/tangerines.
Spring rolls are said to resemble gold bars, lettuce wraps are served because the Cantonese pronunciation of lettuce sounds like ‘rising fortune.’ Dumplings are served as they resemble ignots, a form of currency used in Ancient China. Legend has it the more dumplings you eat during CNY celebrations, the more money you will make in the New Year. Oranges and tangerines are widely distributed during Chinese New Year for the wealth and prosperity.
The Chinese word for fish is similar to the pronunciation for wish and abundance so a whole fish with the head and tail attached is served at CNY dinners to wish everyone a year of abundance from beginning to end. Noodles and long green leafy vegetables signify long life and are served uncut to ensure longevity.
Join us at Chinatown Restaurant from February 19 – 21 and celebrate with our version of the reunion dinner to ring in the year of the sheep. We wish you a year of abundance, prosperity, and health.