Spoiler Alert: You Won’t Find Many in Our Care Packages!
February 12, 2021 marks the Lunar New Year, sometimes called Chinese New Year, and the first day of the Year of the Ox. It’s called the Lunar New Year because it marks the very first new moon of the lunisolar calendar, a traditional calendar in many east Asian countries, including China. The calendars follow the cycles of the sun and the moon.
Lunar New Year is a time for families to come together to celebrate, and appropriately, it involves lots of food. The food is symbolic, of course, of success during the year. For example, fruit, fish, and dumplings symbolize prosperity. Each area of China has its own customs with regard to food, but there are some staples that seem to span the country, regardless of geography.
Here are five popular foods families consume to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Sweet or Savory Glutinous Rice Cakes
Also called “New Year Cake,” these sweet or savory bites are sticky and dense, mostly because they’re made of glutinous rice flour! Each cake is wrapped in paper and is a totally appropriate gift to inspire good fortune for the Year of the Ox.
Unfortunately, The Care Crate Co. doesn’t stock glutinous rice cakes in our care packages, but we can offer Rice Krispy Treats in our Men’s Care Package, made of puffed rice cereal in lieu of rice flour.
Whole Fish – Yes, the Entire Fish – or a Whole Chicken
A whole fish on the dining table symbolizes abundance for the entire year, whether it’s wealth, health, or food itself. Those who celebrate the Chinese New Year likely will serve some type of whole fish at every meal over the holiday. Similarly, the chicken symbolizes unity and togetherness, a promise of a family reunion. We think that’s the perfect sentiment for 2021, after a year of separateness like 2020.
We definitely don’t include whole chicken or whole fish in our snack boxes or gift sets. Can you imagine how that would ship? But we do have Swedish Fish candies, which are shaped like whole fish, in our Candy Care Package. We hope they’ll do in a pinch.
Traditionally prepared as one impressively long, thin, single noodle strand, longevity noodles are most popular in southern China. In more modern times, likely for ease of preparation, very long noodles are served instead of a single one. These noodles are served in a broth or a thicker gravy-esque sauce. (And this dish sounds so, so delicious!)
While you won’t find one super long longevity noodle in any of our care packages, we do offer Ramen noodles in our Microwave Snack Care Package. We think they look just a little like the traditional Chinese longevity noodle – but we’re no experts.
Candies for Lunar New Year
Here’s one we’re pleased to say that we have covered: candy and dried fruit! These sweets symbolize having a sweet life, and are commonly served as a snack during Chinese New Year celebrations.
You can find candy in almost every care package we offer, but you’ll find dried fruit strips in our Gluten Free Dairy Free Vegan Care Package.
Dumplings look like ingot, gold and silver pieces used as money in ancient times. Appropriately, dumplings represent financial prosperity. Dumpling fillings also have special meanings. For example, cabbage and radish improves skin and mood.
Here’s where we kind of have to wave the white flag. We don’t have anything at all that resembles a dumpling, so we’re going to really reach here and propose that a Milano cookie may represent a dumpling. Why? It’s chocolate wrapped in lovely, smooth cookies, and found in our Women’s Care Package.
The Care Crate Co. Wishes You Well in the New Year
The beginning of 2021 has seemed like more of the same from 2020. We’re still social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, even of families. This means some folks who normally celebrate the Lunar New Year with their loved ones may not be this year, for safety and good health.
Our care package and gift set specialists send well wishes to everyone who celebrates the Chinese New Year – and we hope you can find cheer in one of our gift boxes and the treats inside them if you can’t be with your family his year.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and we’ll get you up to date on what we’re working on, as well as making sure you have the latest and greatest deals we have to offer!