According to Chinese tradition and, some say, superstition, certain foods can bring you luck, fortune and even fertility when eaten around the Chinese New Year. The widely celebrated holiday is so popular that some families go as far as decorating their homes with cherry blossoms and creating centerpieces of red luck money to bring fortunes and luck in the new year.
If you're superstitious or simply just curious about these special foods, check out cookbook writer and stir-fry extraordinaire Grace Young's list of each food and its meaning.
Shrimp is thought to bring happiness and laughter.
Eggs are closely associated with fertility.
Mushrooms and mushroom dishes are connected to growing fortunes.
Lettuce The everyday ingredient is thought to bring prosperity and wealth.
Chicken symbolizes a proper beginning and a proper end.
Clams and scallops are thought to bring prosperity.
Scallions Get smart in 2011: Scallions are thought to bring intelligence.
Noodles The deliciously fun food symbolizes longevity.
Lobster A delicacy in many cultures, the seafood signifies the auspicious symbol of the dragon.
Fish Not only is it healthy but is also associated with abundance and surplus.
Chinese New Year Foods
Cilantro The flavorful herb signifies compassion.
Pork The meat is present in many popular Chinese dishes and is thought to bring bounty and family unity.
5 Spice Tofu Everyone wants happiness in the new year and this delightful ingredient is just the way to get it.
Oysters Oysters will bring good business.
Hard liquor Have a drink and toast to longevity. Hard liquor is thought to bring long life.