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Chinese New Year: What to eat and where to go

Take part in Vancouver's Chinese New Year celebrations by trying some delicious, symbolic and lucky Chinese food. Then visit the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown on January 29 at 12.p.m.,  starting at the Millenium Gate on Pender Street.



Chinese New Year is on January 23, 2012 this year. This year is the year of the Dragon, an honourable and noble creature. This holiday is not only filled with festivities, but delicious Chinese New Year dishes as well. If you don’t have a clue how to cook Chinese New Year dinner, put away your wok and make a reservation at one of these highly recommended restaurants.

Where to go for Chinese New Year dinner

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant ($15 to $30)

Floata Seafood Restaurant ($15 to $30)

Jade Seafood Restaurant ($15 to $40)

Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant ($20 to $50)

Kirin Restaurant ($30 to $50)

Grand Dynasty Restaurant ($30 to $50)

Chinese New Year dishes

Chinese New Year dinner is not only elaborate but symbolic as well. Each dish served has a special meaning. Common Chinese New Year dishes include:

Buddah’s Delight (lo hon zai): A vegetarian dish often made with bamboo fungus bean curd, black mushroom, fat choy and wood ear. This dish is meant to symbolize purity.

Fish: steamed or cooked with a black bean sauce. This dish symbolizes abundance.

Long life noodles: Served uncut. This dish represents longevity.

Whole White Chicken: poached and served with a salty ginger scallion sauce. This dish symbolizes wholeness and prosperity.Whole Chinese New Year chicken (Credit: Flickr CC)

Lettuce wraps: served with whole lettuce wraps filled with ground meat such as pork or chicken and crunchy noodles served with oyster sauce. This represents rising fortune.

Dumplings: Similar to a Japanese Gyoza. Symbolizes wealth.

Turnip cake: shredded turnip steamed with chinese sausage, dried scallops, dried shrimp and spices.

Other popular Chinese New Year dishes include: Turnip cake (loh bak goh), Taro root cake (wu tao goh) and duck.

Chinese New Year desserts

For dessert, common Chinese New Year desserts include:

Nien goh: a glutinous rice dessert made with brown sugar. It can be served steamed or pan fried. This dish literally means “higher year,” signifying a reaching of a higher year in life.

Nien Goh: A glutinous rice dessert

Sesame seed balls: deep fried balls of glutinous rice flour filled with red bean paste, lotus paste or sesame paste.

Prosperity cakes (faht goh): a light, sweet, steamed cake topped with dried red dates. Symbolizes great prosperity.

Other symbolic treats often seen during Chinese New Year include:

Mandarin oranges, melon seeds, pineapple tarts and Chinese New Year candies.

An assortment of Chinese New Year sweets (Credit: Flickr CC)

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Vancouver

Take part in Chinese New Year this year and visit Vancouver's Chinese New Year parade on January 29, 2012 at 12 p.m. 

The parade route starts at Millenium Gate on Pender St.

Happy Chinese New Year!

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