Gong hei fat choy!

Feb 5, 2019

Happy New Year!  No, I am not a month late! Today is the Chinese New Year!

Credit Sophorn Kuoy Olsen

The Chinese New Year is all about new beginnings and fresh starts. This holiday, often called Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year for China. The date is based on the lunar calendar.

In Chinese astrology, each year is represented by a different animal. 2019 is the year of the Pig, which is predicted to be a lucky year. The Pig is a representation of diligence, kindness and generosity.

Food is a big part of the celebration, with many dishes symbolizing good fortune and other such wishes for the coming year.

To learn more about the holiday and its traditions, I called Eddie Pao, the chef and owner of Mosa Asian Bistro. 

Pao grew up in Taipei and has fond memories of celebrating the Chinese New Year in his home country of Taiwan.

For the celebration, Chinese families go from house to house, enjoying big spreads of symbolic dishes.

“Every house had a party,” he explained. “The dishes were small plates, like dim sum. You could go to up to 15 or 20 different homes, so you just enjoyed a little at each house.”

A dish called “The Perfect Ten” is one of his favorites of the holiday season, “The number ten means abundance and completeness,” Pao explained.

Pao often adds sprouts to a New Year’s dish since they signify new growth and new life.

Dumplings are another traditional item since the significance of a food that is round or moon-shaped is that it represents the circle of life.

Mosa will be serving a sampling of these traditional dishes on February 8 and 9.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy New Year!

Mosa Asian Bistro is located at 850 S. White Station Road. On February 8 and 9, they will be offering a sampling of traditional Chinese New Year dishes as a special. For more information, visit www.mosaasianbistro.com.