The Most Popular Lucky Food for Chinese Spring Festival

Chinese people celebrate every traditional festival with the lucky food – which blends fruits and vegetables, meat and chicken, let alone Spring Festival – the most important festival all year round to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Here’s the list of 10 must-have dishes that Chinese families will prepare for the 15-day-long celebration.

Recommended China New Year tours

Chinese dinner

1. Fish

Fish plays an important part in the festive celebrations. Fish (yú) is a homophone for “abundance” in Chinese, with a good wish for the next successful year. The fish is served whole with head and tail preserved at the end of the feast.

Cook fish in China

2. Dumpling (jiao zi)

In the North China, it is customary for people to have dumpling on Spring Festival’s Eve. The shape of dumpling resembles gold ingot, and it is given a hope for getting more money in the new year.

Chinese dumpling

3. Chicken

A whole chicken served during the Chinese Spring Festival symbolizes the family union. For some parts in Hubei province in Central China, people will have the chicken soup for the hope of wellness, health and safety.

Chinese cuisine

4. Chicken feet and chicken wings

Chicken feet are must for labor force and businessmen to collect money, while chicken wings for young people to fly high and get a good future.

Chinese gourmet tours

5. Bean sprout

In Shanghai, bean sprout is a popular dish for family reunion dinner on New Year Eve, and represents promotion at work and making a fortune.

Chinese vegetables

6. Meat/pork

Many Spring Festival foods involves meat, including braised pork in brown sauce, meatballs, steamed pork with rice flour, stir-fried pork slices, etc.

Chinese banquet dishes

7. Candies

Candies symbolize a happy, sweet life.

Snacks for Chinese Spring Festival

8. Tangyuan (glutinous rice balls)

Stuffed with sugar, sesame, rose petals, bean paste or others, Tangyuan symbolizes family unity, completeness and happiness.

Must-have food for Chinese New Year

9. Spring rolls

An important dish of China’s culinary culture, spring rolls represent blessings and good fortunate.

Chinese lucky food

10. Noodles

Noodles symbolize a long life, and you’re discouraged to cut them.

lucky food in China

Zhenyuan – A lesser-known Haunting Ancient Town in Guizhou

With the sheer number of enchanted old towns in South China, the most famous ones like Lijiang in Yunnan, Yangshuo in Guangxi seem to get all the attention. However, here we also recommend Zhenyuan celebrated as the “Oriental Venice”, which we are sure will curl your toes as well. And you may add it to your list of favorites for your next China visit.

Trip to Zhenyuan Guizhou

One of the most important old towns of the Miao people in China, Zhenyuan has been standing steadily on the eastern Guizhou for over 2200 years since 277 BC of the Warring States Period. The long history endows Zhenyuan with many heritage sites and cultural relics, while the surrounding Karst mountains and crossing river make it a beautiful grand garden.

Recommend China Guizhou tours

China Ancient Town tours

Zhenyuan Ancient Town was favorably located at the edge of Yunnan-Guizhou plateau, and a transportation center connecting Burma, India and Thailand from the south and the capital Beijing of the north in the ancient times. So it was also called “Southern Silk Road”. The town enjoys a sub-tropical humid climate, with four distinct seasons and the average annual temperature of 16.4℃ (61.5℉). Without chilly winter nor hot summer, Zhenyuan is ideal for travelling throughout the year.

China Guizhou tours

The highlights of Zhenyuan Old Town

With a small area of 3.1sqkm, Zhenyuan boasts 160 attractions including ancient wells, caves (Qinglong Cave), palaces, pavilions, temples, wharfs, museums, memorial archways, family ancestral halls, etc. that scatter in the crisscross ancient lanes. The folk house is a perfect combination of JIangnan courtyard and mountainous architecture, with elegant designs and environmentally sensitive. The nearby Miao and Dong villages with dense minority ethnic culture and customs are also a big draw for travelers.

What to see in Zhenyuan Guizhou

The Wuyang River cuts through the town and divide it into two parts: “Wei City” in the south and “Fu City” in the north, which, from a distance, forming a Tai Ji diagram. “Fu City” is the entrance to the southernmost section of the Great Wall that is 300-kilometer long and extends to Hunan province. It is highly recommended to take a Wuyang River boat cruise along a 35-kilometer waterway to enjoy the Wuyang Three Gorges for the stunning landscape of oddly-shaped peaks, thrilling cliffs, dangerous caves, and amazing waterfalls.

Zhenyuan Old Town travel guide

China Zhenyuan Cruise Journey

What to eat in Zhenyuan

The food in Zhenyuan is of typical Guizhou cuisine – spicy and sour flavor. There are various dishes and snacks going to whet your appetite based on local fresh ingredients including the hot and sour fish (酸汤鱼), “the old dish” (陈年道菜), beef rice noodles (牛肉粉), chang wang noodles (肠旺面), tofu pudding hot pot (豆花火锅), Glutinous rice cake (糯米粑), and so on.

What to eat in Zhenyuan Guizhou

Zhenyuan Old Town Night scene

The Vanishing Chinese Traditional Handicrafts

Many say the best way to get to know a folk culture is through discovering its traditional handicrafts – I have no doubt. However, the folk handicrafts in China now are facing a destiny of vanishing, after so many twists and turns. Before these thousand-year-old cultural heritages die off and disappear from Chinese history, we should definitely make an effort to treasure and preserve them and push the craftsmanship to evolve with time.

Book a classic China tour to find out the vanishing Chinese traditional handicrafts

1. Steelyard (杆秤)

In the ancient times, there was not electronic scale, and steelyard was an essential appliance for daily deal. It is delicately made, and weighs the goods with its different scales.

The old standard weigh

Steelyard

2. Dough figures (捏面人)

Dough, wiper, bamboo stick, comb and scissors are essential tools for making dough figures. With a pair of light hands, a craftsman creates children a humble fairyland. Know more Chinese traditional toys for kids

Chinese folk culture

Chinese folk handicraft

3. Sugar figurines (糖画)

Kids’ favorite snack, sugar figurine is a magic handicraft art. Maltose is fully melted and made into lifelike cute animals, such as rabbit, dragon, monkey…

China street snacks

Traditional handicraft

4. Chinese popcorn (爆米花)

Popcorn machine recalls up the childhood of China’s post-1980 generation. The mobile vendor walked through the streets and brought kids pure white popcorn.

China Popcorn machine

Traditional Chinese snacks

5. Wheat straw knitting craft (麦秸编织工艺)

Wheat straw knitting craft has a long history in Southeast China, and is endowed with experience and creativity. With the wheat straw, craftsmen make sunhat, straw fan, woven handbag, dustpan and other agricultural utensils.

Chinese knitting art

Chinese knitting ware

6. Handmade cloth shoes (纳鞋匠)

First of all, the shoe maker cuts out the pattern, then he/she uses the needle to weave through the sole and the upper with a thick rope fixing them together. Finally, tap the shoe with a hammer to build a perfect modeling.

China handmade cloth shoes

 Chinese Traditional Handicrafts

7. Tile carving (砖雕工艺)

Tile carving is an old, complicated handicraft art in China. Drill, plane and saw make the craftsman a real master, and help them create numerous tile masterpieces, showcased in the sophisticated architectural ornaments.

China carving art

China tile carving craftsman

8. Silversmith (老银匠)

Silver has been part of Chinese ornamental folk culture for more than 4,000 years since the Warring States Period (770-256 BC). Chinese silversmith used special technique of controlling the fire to make silverware.

China silversmith  China silver ornament

9. Chinese landscape painting mounting (国画装裱)

Landscape painting is one of the three quintessence of Chinese culture, and can only fully display its charm when mounted elaborately and elegantly.

The Vanishing Chinese Traditional Handicrafts

China mounting tools

10. Wood carving (木雕)

A great wood carving artisan must master the perfect sculpture skills, and is able to turn a plain wood into a masterpiece of artistic, aesthetic value.

China wood carving art

China wood carving artwork

11. Paper-cut (剪纸)

Generally, ladies are better at paper-cuts. With their clever hands and a pair of scissors, beautiful flowers and lovely animals are born.

China folk art

China paper-cut artwork

12. Chinese chop (印章)

It is to make you a unique and personalized Chinese handmade seal. The basic tools include stone, brush, grinding papers, Chinese art paper, engraving knife, etc.

China seal maker

Handmade china chop