Chinese New Year 2022 falls on Tuesday 1st February, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on 15th February.
Chinese New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs: 2022 is the year of the Tiger; 2021 the year of the Ox.
Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning demeanour and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.
Family is the basis of Chinese society, which is seen through the significance placed on the New Year’s Eve dinner or Reunion dinner. This feast is extremely important to the Chinese.
In the legend of the Spring Festival’s origin, this was when the monster Nian would come and terrorize the villages. The people would hide in their homes, prepare a feast with offerings to the ancestors and gods, and hope for the best.
Food is one of the things that the Chinese take the most pride in. And of course, lot of care and thought is put into the menu for the most important holiday of the year.
As with Chinese New Year activities and decorations, the dishes are created to give blessings for the next year. Both the names and looks are symbols of wishes for prosperity, happiness, and auspiciousness.
Though every region (even household) has different customs, there are some common dishes seen on every table, including spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish and steamed chicken.