Lucky Traditional Chinese New Year Dishes
Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, falls on the first day of the lunar calendar. Since it is different to the calendar dates we are mostly familiar with, the date for Chinese New Year tends to change every year. This year, it will be celebrated on the 28th of January.
Considered as a day for family reunions, Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated festivals for Chinese people. On this day, tables will be filled with special dishes believed to bring about good luck in the coming year. Some of the most common Chinese New Year classics that we are familiar with include rice cakes, dumplings, fish and sweet rice balls.
Glutinous Rice Cake (Niángāo)
Usually appearing in a yellow or white colour to symbolise wealth, rice cakes are considered the most popular Chinese New Year dessert. Traditionally, it is made from glutinous rice, sugar, Chinese dates and lotus leaves. This particular dish is considered a sign of good luck to the Chinese people because the name of the cake, pronounced as 'nian gao' in Chinese, means "getting higher". To them, it implies prosperity and promotion in the year ahead.
With a long history tracing back to the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese dumplings have thought to bring about happiness to the Chinese people for centuries. Most commonly made with minced meat and finely chopped Chinese chives wrapped in a doughy skin, it is a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year. Shaped like a little pocket and fully filled, it signifies an increase in wealth and treasure.
For Chinese people, the first meal of the year is not complete without fish on the table whether it is steamed, boiled or braised. Pronounced as 'yu' which sounds like "surplus", Chinese people believe that anything extra is a good thing so that they can make more with it in the next year. According to the Chinese homophonics, different fish also come with different meanings and luck.
Sweet Rice Balls (Tāngyuán)
Filled with sweet or savory fillings and served with syrup, these little glutinous rice balls are traditionally served at festivals like the Lantern Festival and Chinese New Year. The round shape of the sweet rice balls and the Chinese pronunciation that means "group and round" reminds the Chinese people of reunion and being together with family on this very special day.
Celebrate Chinese New Year at home and get inspired with our full range of Chinese products
(Image source: gochengdu.cn)
4 Places To Visit in Indonesia
Comprising of over 17,000 islands (mostly volcanic) and many different cultures, Indonesia is a unique South-East Asian destination to add to your list of places to visit. Whether you enjoy exploring rainforests, climbing mountains or laying around on the beach, you are sure to find something everyone will enjoy.
If you are planning to visit this natural beauty, here are four places to add to your Indonesian itinerary:
1. Borobudur: Located in Central Java and surrounded by jungle and volcanoes, you cannot leave Indonesia without visiting the world's largest Buddhist monument - Borobudur. Built in the 8th and 9th centuries, abandoned and rediscovered in 1815, Borobudur comprises of five square terraces with three circular platforms ringed by 72 stupas containing a Buddha statue. When viewed from the top, Borobudur resembles the shape of a traditional Buddhist mandala.
2. Gili Islands: Imagine picturesque blue waters, sandy beaches, palm trees and coral reefs - if you are looking for paradise in Indonesia, look no further than the Gili Islands. Located between Bali and Lombok, Gili Islands consist of three small islands including Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Gili Trawangan, the largest of the three islands, is the top choice for most people. But all three islands have something different to offer which includes snorkeling with turtles, scuba diving and cycling around the island.
3. Mount Bromo: An active volcano in East Java, Mount Bromo is part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, which also includes Mount Semeru, the highest peak in Java. Standing tall at 2,329 metres, Mount Bromo is the most hiked mountain in Indonesia and is the perfect combination of danger and beauty, with remarkable landscape views to enjoy during sunrise.
4. Komodo National Park: Located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Komodo National Park is a group of five islands and is renowned for being the only place in the world where the largest land lizard - the Komodo dragon - exists. So it's only fitting you visit when in Indonesia. You can also enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving and other water activities with sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters surrounding the park.
Apart from the beautiful and natural landscapes, Indonesia also offers one of the most flavourful cuisines in the world. You can easily bring the taste of Indonesia to your home with our Indonesian spice paste range.
Image source: http://www.timetravelturtle.com/