Traditional Lunar New Year food in Asia countries


Asian countries celebrating traditional New Year such as Vietnam, China, Korea, Singapore … all activities in New Year’s day must be done very carefully. Because they believe: The beginning will affect the whole year. In addition to customs, taboos, the dishes is not only delicious, nutritious but also contains many good meaning.

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Referring to the Lunar New Year of the Vietnamese people can not ignore the green cake always go in pairs with onions. The birth of the banh chung (glutinous rice cake in square shape) associated with the legend of Prince Lang Lieu in the sixth Hung King. The square cake symbolizes the land showing the filial piety to the previous generation and the gratitude of heaven and earth.

Banh Chung is one of the few traditional cakes that have a long history, are repeated in Vietnamese history books and have a place in the minds of the Vietnamese people. Raw materials for sticky rice include sticky rice, beans, pork and “dong” leaves. Cakes are usually made on the traditional New Year’s Day and Hung King’s death anniversary.

For many years, banh chung is considered the “soul” of the Lunar New Year, expressing the wishes of the year, luck and many good things. If banh chung is a typical Vietnamese New Year’s day, the banh tet (wrapped in cylinders, cut into rounded buns) has the same ingredients as the banh chung is typical of Tet in Central and South Vietnam.

Shuijiao via Unilever Food Solution


For northerners in China, their traditional Chinese New Year food is Shuǐjiǎo. Shuijiao consists of 2 parts: shell and cake fillings. The Shell made of wheat flour, rice flour, consisting of meat and vegetables mixed together. In Chinese, vegetables mixed with meat means the word “wealth”, the longer meat chops, the more sound which  means “long and redundant”.

Dumplings are wrapped into a semicircle, hand-fringed the edge of the cake, this edge is called fortune edge. Some people also extends the two ends of the semicircle and then connect together to create a picture like silver coins. From the shape, manner and characteristics, the Chinese think of eating Shuǐjiǎo in the new year will bring more luck, fortune.

Some places in the countryside also print rice paddies on the shade with the meaning of wish a new year cereal. In particular, the Chinese never eat the entire amount of Shuǐjiǎo on the plate but left over with the meaning “every year is redundant” …

Meanwhile, southern Chinese people welcome traditional New Year with “niangao” cake. The cake is made from sticky rice flour and then poured into molds then cut into thin slices and fried, with two flavors are salty and sweet. The word “longevity” in Cantonese is a homonym with “niangao”, meaning that each year is a better year, more advanced. Therefore, every New Year, Southern China people made niangao cake to welcome New Year to wish a new year better and better.

Tteokguk soup via Wikipedia


Kimchi  always presents in 3 days of traditional New Year in Korea because it symbolizes good luck in life and business. In addition, on the first day of the new year, Koreans also ate a bowl of Tteokguk soup (Tteok rice made with rice skewers, beef, and onion) for health and longevity.  According to Korean age calculation, New Year means a new age. So eat tteokguk soup is also a happy birthday soup.

After the meal, people take “poricha” made from tea mixed with barley flour and “gui balki sool” with the desire to meet the good luck, good things in the new year.


Japan has abandoned the traditional Tet holiday since 1873. Since then, the Japanese have only celebrated the Occidental New Year. However, it is interesting to talk about traditional Japanese food during the  New Year.

Desserts that are indispensable in the early Japanese New Year’s meal is kagamimochi. The Japanese concept of bread is both an offering of divine respect and a food of good fortune and health in the new year. The Japanese lunar new year celebration is called osechi-ryori, (konbu, kangaboko, black kuromame, rim with sake and soy sauce …) served  in jubako boxes.

The dish is good to welcome the new year. As black beans are symbolic of health wishes, herring eggs are meant to have a lot of children, long-chain soba noodles is symbol of longevity.

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