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Your Guide to a Festive, Flavorful Lunar New Year

Recipes to celebrate the holiday with good luck and prosperity

In Asian communities around the world, Lunar New Year is one of the biggest events of the year. Marked by the first new moon of the lunar calendar – this year, February 10, which begins the year of the dragon in the Chinese zodiac – Lunar New Year is a 15-day-long extravaganza of family, fireworks, and delicious food. In China, where Lunar New Year is known as Spring Festival, the holiday culminates with the Lantern Festival, an opulent display of paper lanterns that dates back more than 2000 years. Other cultural traditions vary by region and family, but all include special activities and meals representing prosperity, abundance, and togetherness to honor ancestors and heavenly deities.  

Traditionally, gearing up for Lunar New Year begins with a thorough house cleaning. This is to eliminate any bad spirits that have collected during the year and to usher in good will and good luck. Making an offering to ancestors, such as food or intricate paper cutouts, and posting wishes for good health and fortune around the house are also part of pre-holiday preparations. The color red, another symbol of wealth and prosperity, is used abundantly, including gifting red envelopes that contain money and hanging red lanterns to invite good fortune.   

Food plays a big role in Lunar New Year, both symbolically and practically. Large get-togethers with elaborate meals are a centerpiece of the festivities, drawing family members who come from all over to eat together. To cook up your own family-style spread of auspicious, delicious eats, check out these Lunar New Year-inspired recipes.  

Longevity Noodles

Plain spaghetti becomes celebration-worthy in this Lunar New Year favorite made with shiitake mushrooms and fresh spinach for extra nutrients. Chinese lore says long noodles equate to a long life, so be sure to slurp, not chew, this traditional Spring Festival dish.  

Chicken Potstickers

Everyone will feel lucky once they taste these tempting (and easy) homemade potstickers. Dumplings of all varieties are a popular snack during Lunar New Year, in part because their pouch-like shape is thought to be an omen for wealth and good fortune in the coming year.   

Easy Steamed Pork Buns

Worlds collide in these TikTok-trendy steamed pork buns that are a snap to make with refrigerated pizza dough. In China, the folded pleats of steamed buns signify both the skill of the cook and prosperity: The tighter the folds, the more good luck will come your way. 

Noodles with Spicy Chicken and Bok Choy

Spicy sambal oelek (look for it in the international aisle) and sesame oil give these lo mein noodles layers of restaurant-worthy flavor. This dish is equally delicious served cold the next day, so keep the noodles long and make a double batch.  

Filipino Pork Spring Rolls

Filipino Lunar New Year festivities are heavily influenced by Southern Chinese tradition, including these spring rolls (called lumpia), which get their name from the Spring Festival. The crispy, golden rolls symbolize bars of gold and financial prosperity in the Philippines, where they’re also a popular, year-round street food. 

 Vegetarian Moo Shu Wraps

This plant-powered take on moo shu pork is hearty and satisfying, thanks to a combo of shiitake mushrooms, jicama, eggs, and cabbage. The name moo shu refers to the sweet osmanthus tree, a Chinese symbol of nobility and peace, as the tree’s flowers resemble the small, yellow flecks of egg in the dish.  

Instant Pot® Chicken and Rice Porridge

Our Instant Pot® easy version of Chinese congee or jūk is simple comfort food loaded with protein and the filling fiber of brown rice. In some regions of China, congee is eaten on the seventh day of Lunar New Year (known as Human Day) in the hopes of getting an abundance of food and clothing in the following year. 

No matter what’s on the menu, sharing a tasty, homemade meal with loved ones is a surefire way to kick off the year of the dragon with good fortune and good cheer. 

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