Fri, Jan 27, 2006 - Page 10 News List

What to eat during Lunar New Year
新春應景食物

What should you eat to celebrate the New Year? It's easy to be dazzled and overwhelmed by all the different choices, so let us introduce you to a few must-have foods that you can prepare as you wish to ensure a happy new year.

新春時期該吃些什麼好?琳瑯滿目的年貨往往讓人看了目不暇給,就讓我們來介紹一些新年必備的應景食物,希望能為您帶來好運。

Every New Year, each family puts sweets in a festive red box on a table in their living room to share with guests. The candies sweeten your mouth and your heart, and even bring you good luck to the coming year as well. Aside from just normal candy, people also traditionally eat shiny candied winters melon to bless their ancestors and bring good fortune for the new year.

每逢農曆新年期間,家家戶戶都會在客聽茶几上擺上糖果,用喜氣的紅盒子裝盛,讓前來拜訪的賓客享用,吃在嘴裡、甜在心裡,為新年帶來好運,一整年都吉祥如意。除了一般的糖果外,傳統上人們也會吃一些祭拜祖先用的冬瓜糖,讓晶瑩剔透的冬瓜糖帶來好運。

Because the Chinese words for ``rice cake'' and ``advancement'' are pronounced the same, rice cakes represent progress. They come in many different varieties, from salty to sweet and everything in between. It's a must-have for almost every house. Aside from steaming or deep frying it, you can also lightly fry it or put it in soup. It's a food that can take on many flavors.

年糕因為諧音「年高」,有步步高升之意,再加上口味變化多端,甜的鹹的一應俱全,幾乎是家家必備的應景食品。除了蒸、炸以外,年糕還可以切片來炒,拿來煮湯也不錯,可說是風味多元的應景食物。

Every house must have fresh fish and ``long year vegetables'' on New Year's eve. Long year vegetables, which are mustard greens, symbolize longevity. You won't be able to stop eating them once you start, which symbolizes extending your life, as well as blessing your parents and wishing the older generation a long life. Since the word ``fish'' has the same pronunciation as "surplus" in Chinese, the fish symbolizes having extra. It also represents a prayer for bountiful harvest and a year of plenty.

家家戶戶年夜飯,絕對少不了來道鮮魚與長年菜。長年菜也就是芥菜、刈菜,象徵「長長久久」,食用的時候不可咬斷,象徵延年益壽,也有祝福父母親與長輩長壽之意。鮮魚取其諧音「餘」,象徵「年年有餘」,祈求來年豐收富饒,物質不虞匱乏。

Most people also eat boiled dumplings stuffed with meat and vegetables during the New Year. Since the shape of the dumplings resembles a gold ingot, eating them symbolizes the gaining of wealth. Some people even stuff real coins into some of the dumplings, and those who find the coins while eating their dumplings will have a prosperous year.

許多民眾也會在新春期間品嚐水餃。由於水餃貌似元寶,食用餃子象徵招財進寶。有些民眾甚至會在部分水餃中放置錢幣,凡是在食用時發現錢幣的人,來年極有可能發大財!

On the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the celebrations of the Lunar New Year, glutinous rice balls are a traditional must-have for everybody. The rice balls, called yuanxiao, have a cute, round shape, and symbolize family unity, completeness and happiness.

過年最後一天的慶典「元宵節」,湯圓是家家必備的傳統應景食物。湯圓又名「元宵」,外觀圓潤可愛,有闔家團圓、圓滿與福氣的象徵。

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