As dragons embody power and intelligence, these dishes celebrate prosperity for Lunar New Year

Lucy Yang Image
Friday, February 23, 2024
Celebrating Year of the Dragon through food for Lunar New Year
Lucy Yang reports.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The 2024 Lunar New Year is "The Year of the Dragon" and as we celebrate, we usher in one of the coveted animals in the Chinese calendar.

While medieval folklore portrayed the mythical creature as a monster to be slayed, in Asia, the dragon was embraced by emperors for several reasons.

"It symbolizes power, intelligence and luck," said Museum of Chinese in America curator Herb Tam.

Tam said people born in the Year of the Dragon are thought to be intelligent and powerful.

Now, with all that power and intelligence, it's got to mean those people are eating well. At Vybes109 on Mulberry Street, they're serving up dishes that celebrate those qualities.

That includes dragon shrimp.

"Lobster once you fry turns to the red color," said American Yunan Cultural Center's Christine Li. "That's our lucky color. Auspicious meaning."

Speaking of shrimp, shrimp dumplings are tasty and resemble ancient gold ingots while spring rolls are like gold bars.

"It has meaning healthy and wealthy," added Li.

If the shrimp isn't your calling, roasted pig has been on menus for 3,000 years and is served a la peking duck.

"It's prosperity from beginning to end of year," Li said.

Li also said chicken for friendship and fish for abundance are also traditional, while the fish is always served with the head and tail, so the positivity lasts for the entire year.

ALSO READ: Who celebrates Lunar New Year and why?

What is Lunar New Year and what are the things you do for luck during the Spring Festival Year of the Rabbit? We explain.


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