What to Eat on Lunar New Year 2024: A Buyer's Guide

In Lunar New Year celebrations, food takes centre stage as more than just a meal—it's a symbol of luck, prosperity, and family ties. From the iconic dumplings representing unity to the sticky rice cakes symbolising growth, each dish holds a special meaning. Lunar New Year feasts not only satisfy hunger but also serve as a delicious way to usher in good fortune for the coming year, making the celebration a flavorful and significant tradition.

TRY: Check out our Lunar New Year collection here!

Traditional Lunar New Year Dishes and Drinks



Dumplings are more than just tasty pockets of joy; they symbolise unity and completeness. Their shape resembles ancient Chinese currency, making them a harbinger of wealth and prosperity for the coming year.

From boiled to pan-fried, and filled with various combinations of meat, vegetables, or seafood, dumplings come in diverse forms. Each family may have its own twist, but the joy they bring remains universal during Lunar New Year celebrations.

TRY: Pork & Leek Sheng Jian Baos recipe by Verna Gao

Nian Gao (Sticky Rice Cake)

nian gao

Sticky rice cake holds cultural importance during Lunar New Year as its name sounds like "higher year," symbolising growth, progress, and the promise of a better future.

This chewy delicacy comes in various preparations, from sweet to savoury. Some enjoy it steamed with a sprinkle of coconut, while others prefer it pan-fried for a crispy outer layer. Regardless of the style, Nian Gao is a must-have to ensure a sweet and prosperous year ahead.

TRY: Sticky Cake Recipe For Chinese New Year

Fish dishes

In Lunar New Year celebrations, fish symbolises abundance and prosperity, as the Chinese word for fish, "yu," sounds like the word for surplus. Serving a whole fish during this festive time signifies the wish for surplus and prosperity in the coming year.

Fish can be prepared in various styles, commonly steamed or braised. Steamed fish emphasises its natural flavours, while braised fish offers a rich and savoury dish. Whichever way it's prepared, a fish dish on the Lunar New Year table is a wish for a bountiful year ahead.

TRY: Fish Fragrant Aubergine Recipe

Spring Rolls

spring roll

Spring rolls are a staple during Lunar New Year celebrations, symbolising wealth and a fresh start. The crispy, golden exterior represents the promise of a prosperous year, while the filling embodies the variety of good fortune that lies ahead.

These rolls typically contain a mix of vegetables, sometimes with the addition of meat or seafood, all wrapped in a thin pastry. Deep-fried to a crisp perfection, spring rolls are a delightful Lunar New Year treat enjoyed for their symbolic meaning and delicious taste.

TRY: How To Make Giant Spring Rolls Vegan Recipe by Katy Beskow

Noodle dishes

Noodles play a vital role in Lunar New Year feasts, representing longevity and a wish for a long, fulfilling life. The length and uncut nature of the noodles symbolise the continuation of good fortune.

Whether served in a sweet dessert soup or as a savoury stir-fry, noodles come in various forms during Lunar New Year celebrations. These versatile dishes reflect the diversity of blessings and happiness expected in the coming year.

TRY: Spicy Chilli Oil and Cumin Lamb Noodles by Esther Clark and Rachel Walker

Tangyuan (Sweet Rice Balls)

Tangyuan, or sweet rice balls, hold cultural importance during Lunar New Year as a symbol of family reunion. The round shape signifies completeness and unity, making them a cherished treat during the festive season.

Tangyuan comes in various flavours and fillings, from classic sesame to sweet red bean paste. These delightful treats offer a burst of sweetness and joy, embodying the hope for a sweet and joyful year ahead.



Jasmine tea & Oolong tea

Chinese tea beverages, such as jasmine tea and oolong tea, hold a special place during Lunar New Year celebrations. They symbolise harmony and respect, creating a traditional and comforting atmosphere.


Baijiu, a traditional Chinese liquor, takes centre stage in modern and festive drink options. Whether enjoyed neat or mixed into cocktails, baijiu adds a spirited touch to Lunar New Year gatherings, creating a lively and celebratory ambiance.

TRY: Read our Guide To Baijiu - The World’s Most Popular Spirit

A Buyer's Guide to Lunar New Year

Products for celebrating with, and buying as gifts:

Gujinggong Chiew Red Bottle Baijiu 45%, 100ml

Butterfly Oolong Tea Bags

Hot Pot Rice Cake (or Toppoki), 450g

Sliced Rice Cake for Hot Pot, 454g

Sunflower Jasmine Tea Tin

LuZhou LaoJiao Tou Qu Baijiu 52%, 500ml

LuZhou LaoJiao Tou Qu Baijiu 52%, 500ml

Bordallo Pinheiro Tropical Fruits Dragon Fruit Dessert Plate, 25x21cm

Seikou Porcelain Red Floral Motif Sweets Container, 3 Compartments

Set of 6 Red Dinner Candles



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