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10 Lucky Foods for Your Chinese New Year Feast

Good fortune could be yours if you eat these foods during Chinese New Year.

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Chinese new year ornaments and candy box.; Shutterstock ID 65268727fotohunter/Shutterstock

Tray of Togetherness

Often divided into either six or eight compartments, the round Tray of Togetherness consists of dried fruits, nuts, candies (like these lucky strawberry candies) and other tiny treats. While the tray overall represents peace and family harmony, you can customize your offerings based on what specific fortunes you wish to bring in the new year.

Here’s how to throw a Chinese New Year party!

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Crispy Sriracha spring rollsTaste of Home

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls (aka chun juan) are thought to look like bars of gold and thus mean wealth and good fortune. What’s inside the deep-fried exterior? A blend of pork, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, cabbage and assorted other veggies. Make your own version at home with this recipe.

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Eating Chinese pork lo mein noodles with chopsticks; Shutterstock ID 1212481024; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHEzume Images/Shutterstock

Longevity Noodles

Known as changshou mian, these noodles are up to 2 feet long—and the longer the noodle, the luckier you are! No wonder their name means “long-life noodles.” Just be careful not to accidentally break the noodles while you’re cooking. That’s extremely bad luck, as it foreshadows cutting someone’s life short.

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Steamed pork and shrimp dumplingsTaste of Home


According to ancient legends, the amount of money you’ll make in the upcoming year depends on how many dumplings you eat (the more the better). While pork is the most common filling, you can opt for anything from shrimp to chicken to veggies inside the wrappers, then boil on the stove or pan fry.

Here’s how to make dumplings that will rival a Chinese restaurant’s!

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tangyuan, sweet rice ball, chinese new year food made from glutious rice flour; Shutterstock ID 244071862bonchan/Shutterstock

Sweet Rice Balls

You’ll find these on the table of almost every Chinese family—and for good reason. These gooey balls represent harmony and family togetherness, because their name (tang yuan) sounds almost exactly like the word “reunion” in Chinese (tuan yuan). The round shape also signifies everyone joining in unity.

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Deep fried red snapper fish served with rice; Shutterstock ID 380180623; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHKika Mika/Shutterstock


Having a whole fish (known as dayu darou or “big fish”) signifies abundance and family unity. Plus the word for abundance in Chinese is pronounced the same as the word for fish (yu). The protein is often steamed and served with a simple sauce on the side, usually a sweet and sour or a soy sauce.

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Mandarin oranges and Chinese new year red packet with text "Good luck and Great fortune" and smaller text "All the Best" printed placed on rustic wooden background.; Shutterstock ID 361980683Peiling Lee/Shutterstock

Good Fortune Fruit

Oranges, kumquats, tangerines, pomelos…these are all fruits that the Chinese often give as gifts to bring someone good luck and happiness throughout the year. Both the words for oranges and tangerines closely resemble the words for luck and wealth. Not to mention, the gold color is a symbol of prosperity.

A whole box of fresh Florida oranges could bring you tons of luck!

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Nian Gao or Chinese new year's cake or year cake, Nian Gao is a food prepared from glutinous rice and consumed in Chinese cuisine.; Shutterstock ID 470810750Nor Gal/Shutterstock

Year Cake

The Chinese word for this cake, known as nian gao, is pronounced exactly like the word for “higher year,” which is what makes this dessert so lucky. The sticky rice flour cake, originally used as an offering during ritual ceremonies, is now eaten on the first day of the year to bring better health, wealth and happiness.

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Eight Delicacies Rice; Shutterstock ID 417353473HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock

Eight Treasure Rice

This variation on sweet rice pudding is adorned with “eight treasures” (a variety of seeds, nuts and fruits like plums, jackfruit, raisins, etc.). Not only is the number eight lucky in this culture, eating desserts on Chinese New Year is also a way to ensure literal sweetness throughout the year ahead.

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Rice Cake; Shutterstock ID 566788243Carlos Huang/Shutterstock

Prosperity Cakes

When you get one of these steamed cupcakes, the more “petals” (aka the individual pieces formed by the split top) you have, the luckier you’ll be in the new year. Made from rice flour, fa gao literally means “prosperity cake,” so it’s no surprise these rice flour treats are popular on Chinese New Year.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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