Bring good fortune into your house this lunar New Year!
The lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year in Chinese culture and very different from the traditional western New Year’s Eve. For starters, Chinese New Year is a nearly two-week-long festival that begins at the start of the new moon and honors ancestors and family bonds; sweeping out the old year and welcoming in the new. Celebrations often include fireworks, parades and dragon dancers. Huge markets and parties occur throughout Asia and elsewhere, especially in cities with a large Chinese population, like Sydney and San Francisco.
Food is very important to Chinese culture and the evening before the start of the new year is marked by a large family gathering called the Reunion Dinner. Many of the foods eaten at New Year celebrations have symbolic significance or are eaten to bring luck in the coming months. The word for orange, the fruit, is similar to the word for gold or money so oranges and tangerines are often served as desserts or incorporated into sauces. Long, stretchy noodles are eaten in hopes of bringing longevity to diners. Many vegetarian and vegan dishes are served at Chinese New Year meals; all-vegetable dishes are considered purifying and cleansing, getting rid of the old year’s energy. Also, many Buddhists are vegetarian and it’s a Buddhist tradition that no animal should die on New Year’s Day.
Join in the festivities with these Asian-inspired vegan recipes from our Compassionate Cuisine program!