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Lunar New Year is such a fun continuation of the holiday season — just as the winter doldrums really start settling in, we get a holiday that’s vibrant, loud, and full to the brim of food and festivities. And aside from spending time with loved ones, the best part of the season is definitely the food. So, here are a few of our favorite treats inspired by Lunar New Year traditions, or Chinese Lunar New Year traditions, to be specific. There are so many more to be discovered from countless other countries, but these are the ones Amy grew up with!
WHITE RABBIT CANDIES
A true staple of Amy’s childhood — these soft, chewy, milk-based candies are like a creamy Tootsie Roll, except they also come with an edible rice paper layer. (Fun fact: Amy has never been big on sweets, and as a kid would just eat the rice paper portion off the actual candies.) Anyways, eat one of these first thing on New Year’s Day to ensure a sweet year ahead! P.S. Candy not your thing? Check out these White Rabbit Nikes!
ORANGES + CITRUS
Citrus fruits, and oranges and tangerines specifically, are said to bring good luck, good fortune, and happiness. Their shape, color, and pronunciation in Chinese all represent wealth and abundance in one way or another. So, they’re often given as gifts for weddings, birthdays, and the new year. Sugarfina’s Lucky Mandarin candies are a fun, modern take on the tradition — and if you get the zodiac collection, you get a few other treats to sample, too!
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Traditionally, longevity noodles are actually noodle, singular. As in, one continuous strand that represents health and long life — and you aren’t supposed to cut it short, even when you’re eating it! Nowadays, a lot of people just have regular-length noodles as a symbolic gesture. These one from Momofuku are some of our favorites. (If you’re into spicy, we also love the Tingly Chili flavor!)
Dumplings are (ostensibly) eaten during Lunar New Year because they have a similar shape to the gold and silver ingots used in pre-20th century China. But, Amy’s theory is that dumplings consistently show up in celebratory times because they are a symbol of community. Thinking about mixing the filling and preparing the wrappers, followed by hand-pleating each individual dumpling until you have enough for a crowd — dumplings are a shared experience, through and through. They are made with friends and family gathered around the table, creating a meal and memories together.
BONUS: RED ENVELOPES
Not an edible treat, but they are a staple for Lunar New Year. These packets (or hóngbāo) are typically given by the older generation to the younger members of the family or social group, and they’re commonly shared during celebrations, weddings, and the new year. The red color is particularly important, because it represents luck and happiness — which is why we offer the option to pair a red envelope with all of our Lunar New Year cards!