On 28 January, Chinese all over the world will say goodbye to the Year of the Monkey and welcome in the Year of the Rooster. Chinese families traditionally have dinner together on New Year’s Eve and all the dishes have positive and auspicious meanings. Prawns, fish, green vegetables and black moss (a type of fungus which looks like black hair) are usually on the menu.
The homophone in Chinese of the above are: prawns for laughter or happiness, fish for plentiful, green vegetable for wealth and black moss for making a fortune. There should be at least one item; normally the fish dish has the head and tail signifying a beginning and an end. Seeing in the New Year at midnight is not usually observed.
On New Year’s Day, the younger members of the family would go and visit the senior members and wish them a Happy New Year and will normally be rewarded with a red packet containing money. Employers usually pay their staff two months’ salary for the month on which New Year’s Day fall.
Wine drinking is a fairly recent development. It is said that Riesling and Gewurztraminer pair well with Chinese food. Erica had suggested a Torrontés which goes very well. If you prefer a red wine, a young fruity Pinot Noir is equally compatible.
Kung Hei Fat Choi (Happy New Year)!
26 January 2017 – by Michael Li on behalf of Enjoy Discovering Wine.