Symbolism in Chinese Food

Symbolism is a very important part of Chinese people’s life. A lot of Chinese foods are also symbolic, especially during traditional festivals or other special occasions.

For Chinese New Year:
  • Black moss seaweed - wealth
  • Dried Bean Curd - happiness
  • Chicken - happiness and marriage (especially when served with "dragon foods," such as lobster. Family reunion (if served whole)
  • Eggs - fertility
  • Egg Rolls - wealth
  • Fish served whole - prosperity
  • Lychee nuts - close family ties
  • Noodles - A long life
  • Oranges – wealth, luck
  • Chicken - part of the symbolism of the dragon and phoenix. At a Chinese wedding, chicken's feet (sometimes referred to as phoenix feet) are often served with dragon foods such as lobster. Chicken is also popular at Chinese New Year, symbolizing a good marriage and the coming together of families (serving the bird whole emphasizes family unity).
  • Peanuts - a long life
  • Peaches - peacefulness
  • Pomelo - abundance, prosperity, having children
  • Seeds (lotus, watermelon, etc.) - having a large number of children
  • Tangerines - luck

How To Make Kung Pao Chicken