Chinese Lucky Foods

Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday celebrated by Chinese people around the world.  Here's a list of lucky foods to eat during the Chinese New Year celebration period from New Year's Eve to 15 days after New Year's Day, which culminates in the Lantern Festival. The traditional Chinese New Year celebration begins with a New Year's Eve Reunion Dinner, bringing together family and friends and of course eating lucky foods.  Then, what's eaten on New Year's Day is also very important.  You have 15 days to eat these lucky foods to bring you good fortune in the coming year, but of course you can enjoy them anytime!
Abalone – definite good fortune
Apple – wisdom, peace
Apricot, dried – gold, wealth
Arrowhead Roots– a good life
Bamboo Pith – long life
Bamboo Shoots – wealth, a new start, long life
Banana – brilliance at school or work
Bean Curd/Dried or Pressed Tofu – fulfillment of wealth and happiness
Bean Curd Sticks/Dried/Tofu Skin – blessings on the house
Bean Sprouts – positive start for the New Year, get your heart’s desire
Black Moss – growing wealth
Napa Cabbage – much prosperity and luck
Carrots – good luck and money
Cashew Nut – gold, money
Celery – good hard work
Chinese Chives/Garlic Chives – something good lasts forever, longevity
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – serendipity
Chicken – happiness in marriage and togetherness
Chicken, whole – prosperity, togetherness of the family, joy
Chinese Garlic Chives – long life
Clams/Scallops – opening of new horizons, wealth
Coconut - promotes togetherness and family bonds
Corn - growth
Daikon Radish – good omens
Daylily Buds/Golden Needles – wealth
Duck – creativity and fertility
Dumplings – wealth and abundance and bringing in the new. Steamed and boiled represent silver, fried represent gold. Round Dumplings mean togetherness and heavenly blessings. 
Eggs  - creativity and fertility
Egg Rolls/Spring Rolls – money, wealth and gold
Greens/Green Vegetables – abundance and longevity for parents
Fish, whole – an increase in prosperity and an abundance of extra wealth. The head and tail symbolize a good beginning and end of the year 
Fish Balls - reunion
Five Vegetable Stir Fry – gives the Five Blessings of Longevity, Riches, Peace, Wisdom and Virtue
Gingko Nuts – wealth and good fortune
Glass Noodles/Bean Thread Noodles – silver chain
Grapes – wealth, abundance, fertility, creativity and family harmony
Greens - abundance
Jujubes/Chinese Dates – wealth, prosperity, fertility and creativity
Kumquat – gold, wealth and fortune
Leek – clever with money
Lettuce – prosperity and growing wealth, good for a fresh start. When used as a wrap, it means a baby may be conceived soon or creative inspiration will occur.
Longan – many good children or a lot of new creative ideas
Lotus Root – continuing wealth
Lotus Seeds – a lot of money in your wallet, many children
Lychees – close family ties
Meatballs – close family ties and reunion of family members
Melon – family unity and when candied, it also means growth and good health 
Mu'er/Tree Ear or Wood Mushroom – longevity
Mung Bean Thread Noodles – Long Life when served uncut
Wheat or Rice Noodles – long life when served uncut
Onion – cleverness
Oranges and Tangerines – luck, wealth and gold. They are even better with the leaves attached, as this means longevity
Oysters – receptivity to good fortune, good business and when dried, it means good things are coming and good luck
Peach – immortality and brings increased beauty. A pair of Peaches means wealth, abundance, long healthy life and great fortune for many generations
Peanuts – health, long life, birth of prosperity, continuous growth, multiplication in wealth, good fortune and stability
Pineapple – wealth, luck, excellent fortune, gambling luck
Pistachios - happiness
Pomegranate – many offspring, increased creativity
Pomelo – continuous abundance, prosperity and status
Pork – strength, wealth, abundant blessing
Pumpkin – prosperity, abundance, descendant’s luck, illustrious children, enchantment, fruit draws the earth energy to manifest gold
Radish Cake/Turnip Cake – Good Omens
Rice – abundance, fertility, luck, wealth. Rice symbolizes the link between Heaven and Earth and when sticky means the family will stick together
Rice Cakes, both sweet and savory – increasing prosperity every year and higher position
Scallions/Green Onions – brings intelligence
Seaweed – prosperity, good luck and increased wealth
Seeds – lotus seeds, watermelon seeds, sesame seeds – many children and more creative ideas
Shitake Mushrooms/Dried Black Mushrooms – longevity, seizing opportunities
Shrimp – happiness and good fortune
Snow Peas– unity
Sweets – safety, good fortune and a sweet life in the New Year
Walnut – happiness for the entire family
Water Chestnuts – unity


·        For fun, the Chinese will often add a small coin inside one of the New Year’s Dumplings so that the person who finds it is showered with good fortune and wealth. If you decide to do this, warn everyone to bite into his or her dumplings carefully!

·       Often 8 snacks are served together and called the Tray of Togetherness. Eight is a lucky number and also is symbolic of wealth

·       Tray of Togetherness – 8 snacks served together

·       Serve Bean Curd fried, dried or marinated so that is not white in color

·       Fresh Fruit symbolizes life and new beginning

·      The round shape of Chinese New Year’s foods symbolizes family reunions

·      Seeds of any kind enhance fertility and creativity


  1. Great information. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!!!!!

  2. Wonderful foods and great information! Love you Lily!

  3. Love this, thank you for sharing! Happy New Year!

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