Chinese New Year is accompanied with delicious foods. Traditional Chinese New Year food, such as Dumplings, Oranges, and Spring Rolls are the most common. Depending on the region, there may be more unique foods. In this article, we look at the most commonly eaten traditional food and snacks during the Chinese New Year.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chinese New Year is celebrated with a variety of traditional foods.
  • These foods are believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and happiness.
  • Some popular dishes include dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and rice cakes.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China. It is a time of celebration, family reunions, and delicious feasts. Food plays a significant role in Chinese New Year festivities, as certain dishes are believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and happiness for the coming year. In this article, we will explore the traditional foods that are commonly eaten during Chinese New Year.


Dumplings are a must-have during Chinese New Year. These bite-sized delights are usually filled with minced meat and vegetables, such as pork, shrimp, cabbage, or chives. Their shape resembles ancient Chinese gold and silver ingots, symbolizing wealth and prosperity.


Fish is another staple during Chinese New Year. The Chinese word for fish, “yu,” sounds similar to the word for abundance and wealth. It is often served whole, symbolizing a good start and a good end to the year. The fish is usually steamed or braised and is accompanied by a savory sauce.

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a popular snack during Chinese New Year. These crispy delights are filled with a mixture of vegetables, meat, and sometimes seafood. They are believed to bring wealth and prosperity, as their shape resembles gold bars.

Rice Cakes

Rice cakes, also known as nian gao, are a traditional Chinese New Year dessert. These sticky rice cakes are sweet and chewy, symbolizing a higher income or position in the coming year. They are often steamed and then sliced into pieces before being served.

Longevity Noodles

Longevity noodles, also called chang shou mian, are another important dish during Chinese New Year. These noodles are longer than usual and are not cut, symbolizing long life and good fortune. They are typically stir-fried with vegetables and meat.

Tangerines and Oranges

Tangerines and oranges are popular fruits during Chinese New Year. Their vibrant color and round shape symbolize wealth and good luck. They are often displayed as decorations and exchanged as gifts.

Sticky Rice Balls

Sticky rice balls, or tang yuan, are a traditional dessert served during the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. These glutinous rice balls are filled with sweet fillings like sesame paste, peanut butter, or red bean paste. They are usually served in a sweet soup and represent family togetherness and unity.

Yu Sheng

Yu Sheng Prosperity Toss, also known as Lo Hei, is a traditional Chinese dish typically enjoyed during the Lunar New Year. It consists of a vibrant salad made with various ingredients such as raw fish, shredded vegetables, pickled ginger, crushed peanuts, and sesame seeds. The dish symbolizes good luck and prosperity, with each ingredient representing different blessings such as abundance, wealth, and good health.

Chinese New Year is a time of joy, celebration, and delicious food. From dumplings to fish, spring rolls to rice cakes, these traditional dishes are not only a feast for the taste buds but also symbolize good luck, prosperity, and happiness for the coming year. So, if you ever have the opportunity to celebrate Chinese New Year, be sure to indulge in these delightful culinary delights.

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