Chinese New Year (also known as Spring festival) is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, celebrating the beginning of a new year. It is the most important holiday celebrated in China and also some other Asian countries as well. Chinese New Year for the year 2021 is going to be celebrated on February 12. This year the animal sign is the Ox.

Chinese New Year is a festival that brings family and friends together for feasting. Chinese New Year’s Eve is an occasion for families to gather and have a reunion dinner. Food is a very important piece, traditionally and also culturally. The dishes are made to give blessings for the next year. Many foods have symbolic meanings. Some lucky foods to eat include fish, meaning “may you have the prosperity in the new year”. Dumplings and spring rolls mean wealth and good fortune. Tangyuan (sweet rice balls) means family togetherness and united. Noodles mean longevity and health. 

Every region also has their own cultural foods and customs. For example, in the North regions of China, dumplings are featured as a sign of celebrating Chinese New Year. The whole family gets together and make hand-wrapping dumplings are the norm. For southern regions of China, year cake and Tangyuan are traditional food to have.

My name is Elaine Zhang and I’m a Registered Dietitian at Choices Market in Kitsilano. Choices Markets is a local, B.C. owned grocer offering natural, organic and specialty foods. 

Drop by Choices Market at 2627 West 16th Ave on Monday or Tuesday to connect in person or email me at kitsilanonutrition@choicesmarket.com. I speak both English and Chinese (Mandarin) and can offer nutrition education in both languages.

FUN FACT: Our Kitsilano location was the first Choices Markets store to open 30 years ago.

Last modified: January 28, 2021

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