Chinese New Year is here! Festivities began on February 19th and continue for 15 days until the full moon appears; each day of the celebration has a particular role such as visiting family or eating certain foods.
Following ancient Chinese tradition, an animal zodiac sign marks every year and this year ushers in the Year of the Goat (or Sheep depending on which country you are in).
According to Chinese folklore, people born in the year of the goat (1919, 1931, 1943, 1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003) are creative, sensitive, polite and kind. Their calm, serene nature means those born in the year of the Goat tend to enjoy excellent health.
Here are 3 fun food facts about the holiday:
- On the first day of the Chinese New Year, people usually do not eat meat; the Chinese believe that abstinence from meat on this first day ensures a long, happy life and purifies and cleanses the body.
- An important meal of the Chinese New Year is the chuen-hop, or the “tray of togetherness”. This tray has eight compartments with special, symbolic food including kumquats for health, coconuts for togetherness, peanuts for long life and the longan fruit for ‘many good sons’.
- Another New Year’s Day tradition is a vegetarian dish with 18 ingredients called jai. Each of the 18 ingredients has a special quality: lotus seed (for male offspring), black moss seaweed (wealth) and bamboo shoots (wellness).
In honor of Chinese New Year, new beginnings, lightness and good health, this week we are featuring a fresh, wholesome and unbelievably delicious recipe for shaved cabbage salad brought to us exclusively by the acclaimed chef Chad Sarno.
Here’s to fresh starts and fresh food.
Enjoy and best wishes to all!