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Subscribe  Unsubscribe :: Blog: What Can You Not Eat During Chinese New Year?
Blog: What Can You Not Eat During Chinese New Year?

What NOT to Eat During Chinese New Year!

Date:11th January 2023

The list of food do’s and don’ts at Chinese New Year can feel overwhelming. Let us help.

Don’t bite if it's white.

White is a colour that symbolises bad luck or death, so it’s not something you want to encourage during the new year. Hence, let’s pack away that tofu and cauliflower recipe for another week.

Try red (happiness, success), gold/yellow (freedom) and green (wealth, fertility, growth). Blue also fine (long life), but the number of blue foods might create more of a challenge.

These symbols apply beyond colour – things that look like or sound like money or luck are also encouraged. For example, 'lettuce' sounds like a word for 'becoming wealthy'.

Don’t CUT it.

Chicken and fish are staples of the feast, but you must keep them whole – heads too. Keeping them together signals unity, indicating the whole family will meet with success.

This rule holds for noodles too (long noodles = long life) and makes for a messy favourite watching people trying to fairly share uncut noodles. There is a technique to this – start small and be patient (perhaps also a good message for life).

Keto diet standard proportions;

Don’t move backwards.

It is a time of year all about looking forward, so eating things with a directional clarity is supposed to help you. Salmon and Tuna, not crabs or eels. On land, consider trying kangaroo and emu. They are on the Australian flag as a symbol because of their inability to walk backwards after all.

Don’t finish it.

The expense and abundance of the feast represents the wealth of the year ahead. By that measure, you would think lobsters and scallops would be a welcome addition but be careful: because they live on the bottom of the ocean and scavage for scraps, their diet counts against them.

If this thought of food waste concerns you, no worries– leftovers are lucky, as they can indicate abundance and that you will never be without food.

Let’s try to apply our know how now:

Which of these lucky? Congee, squid, rabbit or dumplings?

  • Congee is a no – its considered poor man’s food, and its white.
  • Squid are a trifecta of festive don’ts – white, can swim in any direction and they are a synonym for getting fired.
  • Rabbit – nope. While the literature is a bit sparse on this one, think it is generally considered bad form to munch on the symbol of the upcoming year (whole chickens might be the exception).

Which leaves us with dumplings. Yep. While their colour might worry you, you can fry them to give them a lovely golden colour, and their shape resembles traditional ingots of gold and silver. Legend has it the number of dumplings consumed at new year can equal the amount of wealth you will accrue. So, I’d better get munching.

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