China, a country with a rich, ancient culture, celebrates its New Year with special splendor and tradition. This festival is accompanied by various rituals and customs.
It is known that in China the date of the new year is different from that of its Western counterpart. If in most countries of the world this is the night from December 31 to January 1, in the Celestial Empire this date is set at a different time each year.
The first day of the holiday in China falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Therefore, the next year, according to the Chinese calendar, will begin on February 10, 2024. Its celebration will last until February 24.
What do they eat in China for the New Year?
doctor of two medicines: Chinese and classical medicine, reflexologist, qigong master
“It is not customary for Chinese to cook at home. On normal working days they eat in cafes and canteens so as not to waste time cooking and not be distracted from study and work. Vacations are a completely different matter. These are the days when the whole family relaxes and gathers around the table and for each holiday there is a symbolic traditional dish.”
During the cold season, people in China do not eat raw fruits and vegetables. They must be heat treated. It is believed that the body needs more energy to digest these foods. During winter it is very important to conserve energy and heat so as not to weaken the functioning of the digestive system. Therefore, the Chinese New Year table is full of hot dishes.
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Each of them has its own meaning and is designed to bring prosperity to the New Year. The auspicious symbolism of these traditional Chinese New Year dishes is based on their pronunciation or appearance. Not only the dishes themselves are important, but also their preparation, the way the food is served and eaten.
These are Chinese dumplings that the whole family prepares all day for the holidays. Jiaozi has a symbolic shape: it is believed to be similar to a bar of gold and therefore, if cooked and eaten in large quantities, brings wealth.
In some families, a coin is hidden in one of the dumplings. According to tradition, whoever gets such a dumpling will have a prosperous year.
Jiaozi is prepared by steaming or frying it in a pan. The filling for dumplings can be prepared in endless ways. But the most common consists of pork, cabbage and green onions.
Meatballs with lamb, carrots and green onions are also a popular choice. Meatballs can also be filled with mushrooms, various vegetables, spices and herbs.
Jiaozi Dumplings Recipe
flour – 250 g; water – 125 ml; pork – 150 g; cabbage – 150 g; green onions – 1 bunch; garlic – 2 cloves; ginger – 2 cm; soy sauce – 2 tablespoons. l.; brown rice vinegar – 1 tbsp. l.
First you need to prepare the dough. Pour 125 ml of water into the flour (it should be half as much as the flour). Knead the dough until a single lump forms. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and keep at room temperature for two hours. For the minced meat, grind the pork, cabbage and chives in a meat grinder. Add garlic squeezed with a press, 1-2 tablespoons. l. soy sauce, finely chopped ginger and mix, divide the dough into three parts: work with one, remove two. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and roll each one out with a rolling pin. Place 1 teaspoon in the middle of each circle. fillings Fold the dough into a semicircle to completely cover the minced meat, then pinch well and cook the formed meatballs in boiling water for 5-8 minutes.
This traditional dessert is glutinous rice cake, which literally translates as “New Year’s cake.” The dish is believed to bring good luck; It symbolizes changes for the better, for example, a raise in salary, a promotion, or good grades at school.
Photo: istockphoto.com/Ika Rahma
The main ingredients of niangao are glutinous rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates and lotus leaves. The cake can be steamed, baked or fried in a pan.
glutinous rice flour – 120 g; egg – 1 piece; cane sugar – 50 g; milk – 2 tablespoons. l; dried fruits – 50 g; water – 70 g.
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, dissolve the sugar and let it cool. Then add flour, eggs and milk to the liquid. Knead the dough until smooth, adding chopped dried fruits. Place the resulting mixture in a greased mold. Steam the cake or bake it in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with sugar.
Master in Chinese Medicine
“Fish is a staple food in Chinese New Year celebrations. According to tradition, they start eating it the outgoing year and finish it the following year; Thus it is believed that abundance is transferred from this year to the next.”
In Chinese, the pronunciation of the words fish and abundance are the same. It is essential that the dish be served with a head and tail to symbolize a good beginning and end of the year.
When serving, the head of the fish should face the noble or elderly guests, who should eat the fish first, before the others at the table.
Very often in China, on New Year’s Eve, sea bream or perch is steamed in a bamboo steamer. Other traditional options include crucian carp, Chinese mud carp, and Chinese catfish.
perch – 1 piece; sesame oil – 1 tbsp. l.; light soy sauce – 2 tablespoons. l.; rice wine or dry sherry – 2 tbsp. l; sea salt – 1/2 teaspoon; green onion arrows, cut in half lengthwise – 3 pieces; finely chopped fresh ginger – 1 tbsp. l.; olive oil – 2 tablespoons. l.
We clean the fish of scales and entrails, then we rub it all over the surface, outside and inside, with salt and sesame oil, place the chopped onion in the mold, followed by the fish, pour the soy sauce evenly over it with wine and chopped ginger. the fish. Place the mold in a hot double boiler and cook for 12-15 minutes. After cooking, pour hot oil over the fish and serve immediately on the festive table.
Usually, a whole chicken is served on the festive table in China, which symbolizes family unity and integrity, and also means a good beginning and end of the year. Like fish, chicken should be served whole, with the head and legs intact. In some families, chicken feet are left to the breadwinner to help them gain wealth.
A common method of preparing chicken is to marinate it in a light soy sauce, ginger, wine, and green onions, and then steam it.
chicken – 1.5-2 kg; garlic – 3-4 cloves; ginger – 1 piece about 5 cm; soy sauce – 2 tablespoons. l; rice wine – 2 tablespoons. l; sesame oil – 1 tbsp. l.; fresh green onion feathers – for decoration.
First we prepare the marinade. In a deep bowl, mix the minced garlic, minced ginger, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. Use this mixture to grease both the inside and outside of the chicken. Let it marinate for 30 minutes, then place a cabbage or bamboo leaf on the bottom of the mold, and then the chicken itself. Cook the dish in a double boiler over medium heat for 1.5-2 hours, before serving, decorate. the chicken with fresh green onions.
Another popular festive dish in China, symbolizing the wish for longevity. Legend has it that the longer the noodles, the longer your life will be. Under no circumstances should it be cut or torn off, this is a very bad omen.
Photo: istockphoto.com/narong niamfoi
Noodles can be fried with vegetables or cooked with broth; There are many different ways to prepare them in China.
Longevity Noodles Recipe
noodles – 200 g; pork – 200 g; carrots – 1 piece; leek – 1 piece; red pepper – 1 piece; vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons. l.; soy sauce – 2 tablespoons. l.; olive oil – 1 tablespoon. l.; sugar – 1 tbsp. l.; tomato sauce – 1 tbsp. l.; salt to taste.
According to package instructions, cook noodles until tender, strain and rinse with cold water. In a frying pan, fry the pork cut into strips, the carrots, the red peppers and the leeks cut into thin strips in vegetable oil. For the sauce, mix the soy sauce and olive oil, ketchup, sugar, salt and pepper in a plate. In a deep bowl, mix the boiled noodles with the prepared filling and sauce. Place on plates and serve.
New Year’s traditions and customs.
There are many traditions associated with the New Year in China. Here are some of them:
So, on the first day of the lunar year, a person is prohibited from preparing herbs or taking medicine. It is believed that if he neglects this rule, he will fall ill throughout the year. Additionally, on New Year’s Day you cannot sweep and take out the trash, wash clothes, use scissors, lend money, or say words associated with death. illness or poverty.
How the Chinese eat to avoid gaining weight: 5 simple rules Black and white clothing is prohibited, since these two colors are traditionally associated with mourning. It is better to choose red, which is considered a symbol of good luck and happiness. General cleaning of the house should be done a week before the New Year. This is how the Chinese remove all last year’s problems from the apartment and leave room for well-being and happiness.
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