Chinese New Year is celebrated by many all over the world, this year it’s on Tuesday 5th February and it is the Year of the Pig! The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals and according to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house and he had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place.
The right way to celebrate Chinese New Year is with the New Year’s Eve dinner called the ‘reunion dinner’, usually celebrated with family and close friends. So, we have selected the ideal tasty recipes for the occasion.
Duck Spring Rolls
The most popular dish for Chinese New Year is spring rolls, the perfect sharing appetiser, and duck spring rolls are a delicious alternative to pork, making the ideal starter or side dish!
At Chinese New Year, many people like to eat ‘long noodles’. They are also called 长寿面 (cháng shòu miàn), which means “longevity noodles.” You aren’t allowed to cut them and should try not to chew either. The longer the noodle, the longer your life will be. This means a lot of slurping at the table and a napkin will be essential!
The great thing about noodles is that you can have them with pretty much anything, but of course, our favourite is duck! It may be a surprise to learn that many ingredients have a symbolic meaning in Chinese culture, so here are the meanings for some of the food typically eaten around Chinese New Year:
- Duck: loyalty
- Eggs: big and healthy family
- Lobster: endless money rolling in
- Shrimp: fortune and wealth
- Roasted pig: peace
- Peaches: longevity
- Tofu: happiness and fortune for the entire family
- Fish: surplus and wealth
Aromatic duck is perfect for the whole family to dig in and enjoy, but you may need more than one duck if you have a big family! Serve the duck with pancakes, hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion to make delicious crispy aromatic duck wraps.
You can pick up our aromatic duck packs from Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose or Morrisons (subject to availability). Or alternatively view our aromatic duck recipe.
Our half duck serves 4 as a starter and 2 as a main, the whole duck serves 8 as a starter, 4 as a main.
To celebrate Chinese New Year, we have teamed up with Blue Dragon to give you the chance to win a hamper full of Blue Dragon goodies to create your own tasty dishes that everyone will enjoy. The competition is free to enter here.
Chinese New Year Decorations
To celebrate Chinese New Year, decorating your home as well as preparing a delicious feast can add to the occasion. The colour red is loved by the Chinese in general as it represents happiness and good fortune. Below are some popular decorations used to create festivity for Chinese New Year.
Paper Cutting Arts
These decorations are usually of symbols and words made of red paper. Images include fish, peaches, grains, dragons, phoenixes and more.
Chinese people decorate by hanging up certain words. The most common word is fu, happiness and good fortune. It is written onto a square piece of red paper to then be put onto walls, doors or windows.
There are many styles of lanterns, from basic shapes like spheres, to lotuses and even dragons! As a tradition, some people write the word fu (福 – Fú), poetry or other calligraphy on the lanterns before releasing them in to the sky.
We hope you’ll try one of our delicious oriental duck recipes this Chinese New Year and however you choose to celebrate we wish you health and happiness for the year ahead.