The Chinese New Year is the start of the new Lunar Calendar and the onset of the agricultural season. For the Chinese, this date is single-handedly the most important holiday of the year. It’s a 15-day soiree - a time of reunion, a time for family. Each day has a new theme. The first day is for lighting fireworks and bamboo sticks, the fifth day is for dumplings, and so on. The last day of the festival is called the Yuan Xiao Festival, reserved for eating tang yuan – a sweet rice ball stuffed with sesame paste, grounded peanuts or red bean. The common link for each day is food: the half-month is filled with an abundance of dishes. After all, food is the cornerstone of Chinese culture. Traditional dishes are steeped with symbolism – many of which are homophones for lucky phrases.
Here are ten auspicious Chinese dishes and where to get them in the greater Los Angeles area.