Traditional Food: Eating Dumplings on Chinese New Year


Dumplings are a traditional meal commonly eaten on Chinese or Lunar New Year.


Informant: “Every Chinese New Year, my mother always prepares a feast, the main staple/course of which are the dumplings. She always says it’s a must we eat them on New Years, so much so that we even eat them on American New Year’s as well.”


Wealth and success are values that are strongly held in Chinese culture. In fact, they’re so integrally tied that one must achieve wealth and prosperity to truly be viewed as ‘successful’. The dumpling’s that my informant eats every Chinese New Year is such an engrained tradition because it is said to resemble the money pouches—i.e. the red envelopes commonly handed out on Lunar New Year—which are symbols for wealth and prosperity. Even the dumpling making itself is ritualistic as it commonly a family where all members participate in the cooking process, a sign of familial values and unity that are very important in their culture.