Friday, February 8, 2008

Auspicious Food to be Served during Chinese New Year

Today is the second day of Chinese New Year. I would like to talk about food preferred by the Chinese during Chinese New Year.

To the Chinese, a good beginning is important. Hence during Chinese New Year, every child is taught to utter only good words to others including his parents. In order to remain auspicious, food is also carefully chosen to achieve this end.

As far as food is concerned, the Chinese will choose food that can bring good fortune or happiness to them. For example, they will take fish whose pronunciation is akin to “yu” (pronounced something like “we” in English) which means surplus. In other words the Chinese believe that eating fish on Chinese New Year will enable them to have a lot of gain in terms of money through doing business or rendering services to others.

In restaurants, "yee sang", a dish consisting of raw fish is popular among Chinese as it is deemed auspicious. This is because "yee" or "yu" which originally means "fish" has the same pronunciation as "yu" which carries the meaning of "surplus" and "sang" or "sheng" with "raw" as one of its meanings rhymes with "sheng", another word which means "going up or rising". Therefore "yee sang" or "yu sheng" is intended to mean "having surplus and going up and up in postion held or money earned".

Another food is prawn which is called “ha” in Cantonese. In Cantonese, “siu ha ha” means “laughing heartily” If the Chinese take prawns during Chinese New Year, they believe that they will have happiness in life just like they laugh gleefully when they are happy.

Sea cucumber is the next preferred food because it sounds like “hoi sum” which means “happy” in Cantonese. This food is also considered capable of bringing happiness to one who takes it during Chinese New Year.

1 comment:

Nessa said...

Happy Chinese New Year Mr TH Yeoh!

Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving your comment. You've requested for a link exchange but I have instead added you in my Technorati favourites, hope you don't mind.

Hope you'll come visit my blog again :)


Nessa of Mumblings