Knowing All about Hunan

Traditions of lunar new year in Hunan | Chinese new year eve dinner

Updated:2022-02-04 16:20:06

As one year comes to an end, delicious food are well prepared for the next coming year. It is the time of reunion and celebration.

Chinese new year eve dinner, nianyefan, is a family reunion dinner. It is a start of new year celebration. Also, let us check out different traditions related with this dinner in Hunan.

On evening of the new year eve, people have this dinner in Zhuzhou, Changsha and Yongzhou; in Shaoyang and Loudi, people have the reunion meal in the early morning; and in Hengyang people have it in the noon. People from Zhangjiajie and Xiangxi usually have this meal on the midnight and one or two day ahead of new year eve.

Chinese new year eve dinner must be meticulously prepared in Hunan. Eight, ten and twelve are appropriate numbers for dishes. Pork elbow and fish are must-haves. They are also called reunion foods.

Of course, there are local specialities. In countryside of Chenzhou, there is a dish that particularly express one’s hospitality. It is pork that weights above a half of jin (500 grams). In Xupu county Huaihua, it is allowed to have only a half of pork head, and the remaining has to be given to father in law.

Meanwhile, names of dishes implies different meanings. For instance, fish ball and meat ball represent reunion because they have spherical shapes; turnip means good fortunate; chicken feet is called claws that can pick up fortunate; and deep fried foods imply prosperity.

In an addition, vegetables cannot be chopped by knifes in Zhuzhou and Hengyang. It implies longevity of life; Because poor (qiong in Pinyin) and celery (qin in Pinyin) are homophones in Changsha dialect, celery is called “Fu” (rich in English) during new year;

People from Shaoyang and Huaihua do not eat pakchoi during the new year; In Yiyang region, fish from new year eve dinner cannot be finished, and the leftover has a symbolic meaning of keeping the fortunate.

In Yueyang, door must be closed when family has the meal, and it implies that fortunate will not run away. After the meal, one needs to light up firecrackers, and later people can go to visit each other.

What is your favorite dish?

Netizen from Yueyang : Living by Dongting Lake, I like my mother’s braised mandarin fish the most.

Netizen from Shaoyang : Cured foods is the taste of new year. My favorite food are steamed cured foods and Stewed cured pig feet with turnips.

Netizen from Xiangxi: Xiangxi cured meat is the best. Fried cured meat with green onion is a good combination with rice.

Netizen from Changsha: many new year eve food can be easily found everyday. But eight treasures rice is a special dessert in my family.

Netizen from Zhuzhou: Since You county is famous for its tofu. The favorite dish of my family is fried tofu with pork.

Netizen from Yiyang: On new year eve, we will steam cured meat. After it was chopped, we will pick them up by hand. It is a great experience.