Reunion Dinner – 年夜飯 (團年飯)
The New Year’s Eve Dinner is very large and traditionally includes chicken and pork. Fish (魚, yú) is also included, but intentionally not finished, and the remaining fish is stored overnight. The reason for this stems from a pun, as the Chinese phrase 年年有魚/餘; (nián nián yǒu yú, or “every year there is fish/leftover”) is a homophone for phrases which mean “be blessed every year” or “have profit every year”.
I just got back from my sister’s house where the reunion dinner was graciously held for the past few years. Dad and Rich chipped in to cook. Yup, the men in our household love to cook while the ladies love to eat
We normally do a vegetable hamper to keep during the 15 days of celebration. The vegetables do not keep and will ferment – the reason for doing this stems from a pun Fa Cai 发财 (the Chinese word fa 发 sounds the same for ferment as well as prosper and cai 菜 vegetables sounds the same as cai 财 meaning wealth and fortune). The homophone for Gong Xi Fa Cai!
There are some rules that I still follow… leaving the lights (4 corners of our house) on till the daylight breaks so that the God of Fortune can see our house and come bless us with abundance. Also, no using of brooms or anything sharp like nail clippers and knives, until the first day is over. Lol… Nothing bad will happen if you don’t follow any of these rules. It’s just a tradition to instill some inconvenience and therefore “more significance” to the day. My children are western educated and they love to play this “game” along with me. Valerie said to me after the reunion dinner, on her way to meet some friends for drinks, “Remember to slice the nian gao before midnight!”
恭喜大家过新年发大财, 万事如意! 发呀!
Happy Lunar New Year to the Chinese all over the world!
Happy Sunday to all
Info on NYE’s Dinner : Wikipedia