The Chinese are fanatics for superstitions and indeed for puns. Many of their new year foods are a play on the words for luck, wealth, or health. Here are the top lucky foods to eat this Lunar New Year…

Sarr Ngan Thee Ngarr Paung (Steamed Fish) 清蒸魚

Steamed Fish. (Yi Reservation)

The Mandarin word for fish and surplus both sound like ‘yu,’ so in the hope of gaining a surplus in cash that year they devour dishes of fish—any will do, but steamed fish with salt and vinegar is one of the most popular as it’s among the easiest to make.

Buy from: Golden Duck (No. 222-224, Strand Road)

Dumplings 饺子 


With a resemblance to ancient Chinese silver ingots, dumplings are believed to bring money. In fact, the more you eat, the better your cash flow the following year.

Buy from: Food vendors on Lower 18th Street  

Sweet Rice Balls 汤圆

Sweet Rice Balls.

Due to the pronunciation and their round shape, sweet rice balls are associated with reunion and being together, a treat symbolizing family that the Chinese eat throughout the new year.

Buy from: Food vendors on Lower 18th Street  

Glutinous Rice Cake 年糕

Nian Gao. (Sugar & Everything Nice)

This, in Mandarin, sounds like ‘climbing annually.’ Eating rice cakes, then, can mean anything from getting better grades to growing taller—anything seen as improving generally. They are generally made of sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves.

Buy from: Mhway (No. 100, Middle 17th Street)

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