The coming Chinese New Year is the year of the rooster, which is only days away. It is the most important of holidays for the Chinese community. Celebrations will last from Friday 27/1/17, new year’s eve and will last for around 15 days until the middle of the first month.
Finest have been in touch with Yang Sing to find out how we should be celebrating. Yang Sing, is one of Manchester’s favourite and best-known Cantonese restaurants, and also happens to be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year- so doubly celebratory.
They told us that there are very specific dishes that are eaten during the Chinese New Year for their symbolic meaning. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation and ways of serving and eating mean a lot.
Prosperity Toss- brings health and wealth
Also known as ‘yusheng’, ‘poon choi’ or ‘lo hai’ this dish brings good luck for the coming year.
It is said the higher the toss and the louder your chants, the greater your fortunes!
This is traditionally a double dish salad, accompanied by sashimi style raw fish and sauces for mixing. All the ingredients in the dish are loaded with symbolism and designed to usher health, wealth and prosperity.
Some chants for your ‘lo hei’
Gong Xi Fa Cai – “Congratulations for your wealth” Wan Shi Ru Yi – “May all your wishes be fulfilled”
Zhao Cai Jin Bao – “Attract wealth and treasures” Qing Chun Chang Zhu – “Forever young”.
Yang Sing is serving a prosperity toss which is available for pre-order, to eat in or take out from 23/1/17 to 28/1/17. Regular £25 recommended for 4-5pax Large £50 recommended for 6-8pax
This dish will also be served at Yang Sing’ Rooster Banquet Event which is being hosted on Sunday 29th January; where a traditional celebratory menu will be served, alongside lion dancing, a kung fu demonstration and much more. More details below.
Fish — brings luck and prosperity
In Chinese, “fish” sounds like the word ‘surplus’. Chinese people like to have a surplus at the end of the year, because they think if they have managed to save something at the end of the year, then they can make more in the next year.
Try Yang Sing’s steamed Yunnan style lemon chilli sea bass!
Chinese ‘jiaozi’ Dumplings — bring wealth
With a history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings are a classic Chinese food, and a traditional dish eaten on celebratory events such as Chinese New Year’s Eve, widely popular in China.
Chinese dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots. Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year.
Yang Sing will be popping up at St Ann’s Square from Thursday 26 January- Saturday 28 January and featuring on the menu will be these traditional style ‘jiaozi’ pork dumplings.
Spring Rolls — bring wealth
Spring rolls get their name because they were traditionally eaten during the Chinese new year otherwise known as ‘Spring Festival’.
Spring rolls appear on Yang Sing’s dim sum menu and are filled with shredded duck and bamboo shoots so order yourself some wealth on your next visit.
Glutinous Rice Cake — a Higher Income or Position
In Chinese, glutinous rice cake sounds like it means “‘getting higher year-on- by year”‘. In Chinese people’s minds, this means the higher you are the more prosperous your business is a general improvement in life. The main ingredients of niangao are sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves.
Longevity Noodles — brings happiness and longevity
Longevity noodles unsurprisingly symbolize a wish for longevity. Their length and unsevered preparation are also symbolic of the eater’s life.
They are longer than normal noodles and uncut, either fried and served on a plate, or boiled and served in a bowl with their broth.
Good Fortune Fruit — bring fullness and wealth
Certain fruits are eaten during the Chinese New Year period, such as tangerines and oranges, and pomeloes. They are selected as they are particularly round and “golden” in color, symbolizing fullness and wealth, but more obviously for the lucky sound they bring when spoken.
Eating and displaying tangerines and oranges is also believed to bring good luck and fortune due to their pronunciation, and even writing. The Chinese for orange sounds the same as the Chinese for ‘success’.
We asked Bonnie Yeung from Yang Sing what else we can expect from the year of the rooster, ‘the year of the rooster is ideal for those who strive for best in all that they do, but not so forgiving for those who are couch potoatos. Don’t expect mollycoddling in the year of the rooster, but if you’re prepared to work hard it’s a year for accomplishment and success.