Reunion Day, New Year’s Eve, the last day before the Chinese New Year, as per the lunar calendar, is a time when the whole family living in the household joins in eating a meal together. This special meal is very filling and focuses on fish, which symbolizes life and energy as fish move fast and are energetic. There are also traditional dishes with pork and chicken.
Offerings are made in thanks for previous years. Rice wine and tea are served. The offerings will differ, depending upon the traditions of the faith followed by the family. Taoists offer incense and fruit to the Gods and ancestors; Buddhists make similar offerings to the Buddha and ancestors. Prior to the New Year a special New Year’s cake has been prepared and it is prominently displayed until the seventh day of the New Year.
Dinner is an exciting time for the children as they will receive “Red Packets”. Traditionally the packet contained a coin but these days it is likely to be a larger amount of money. The red packet gifts are given by the grandparents and parents to the children and young, unmarried family members and symbolise a blessing for a long life.
You’ll find all you need to celebrate Chinese New Year, whether it’s red packets, traditional fish, ingredients for pork and chicken dishes, incense, rice wine or Chinese teas at TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne. Stocks have just come into the store in readiness for the Chinese New Year Festival period to add to the great selection of Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Malaysian groceries available.