The year of the Ox started today. According to the Chinese calendar, January 26, 2009 is the start of year 4707. This is a cool celebration that make a wonderful theme for a dinner party. Since the New year celebrations last 2 weeks, you have plenty of time to plan a family feast.
What you need to remember is to use plenty of the traditional lucky red with gold accents in your decor. For the party favors, you can prepare red envelops with each an even number of bills or coins for the unmarried. Get the spring couplets (poems) from Chinatown. For more party ideas, read my guide on how to host a Chinese New Year party. I wrote it last year for Food Network Canada.
The menu at the Chinese New Year is filled with symbolism. Best wishes for prosperity, longevity or good luck is in order. Spring rolls and dumplings represent gold ingots. Fish symbolizes wealth and prosperity because Yu (fish in Chinese) means abundance. Whole fish served with head and tail evokes the start and the end of the year.
The candy tray is another tradition. The tray must be circular or octagonal.
Chinese Dinner Menu
I mixed some Vietnamese dishes from my friend at QlinArt. Why not celebrate cultural diversity at the same time?
+ Shrimp and Pork Dumplings Steamed in Banana Leaves by QlinArt
+ Yan Can Lo Mein on FoodTV.ca
+ Vietnamese imperial rolls (cha gio) by QlinArt. Serve them with her tasty Vietnamese fish sauce dip (nuoc mam). For more authenticity, opt for the Chinese Potstickers by Jaden of Steamy Kitchen
+ Kuih Kapit, the Love Letters biscuits from Sea salt with food
+ Chinese Steamed Fish by Jaden of Steamy Kitchen. Check out her blog for more Chinese New Year recipes.