Chinese & Lunar
New Year Handbook
From China and Taiwan to Singapore and Malaysia, Asians with strong Chinese roots observe Lunar New Year, from the first day and often up to the full 15 days thereafter. Korea and Vietnam also observe the lunar calendar. Customs vary from place to place, but food and family are always central. Learn about the traditions and cook up your own celebrations with the help of Martin Yan, Susanna Foo, Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, and others.
Lunar New Year Cycle
The Chinese New Year celebration starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year (the date changes each year) and ends on the full moon 15 days later.
- Jan. 23, 2012—Dragon
- Feb. 10, 2013—Snake
- Jan. 31, 2014—Horse
- Feb. 19, 2015—Sheep or Goat
- Feb. 08, 2016—Monkey
- Jan. 28, 2017—Rooster
- Feb. 16, 2018—Year of the Dog
- Feb. 05, 2019—Boar or Pig
- Jan. 25, 2020—Rat
- Feb. 11, 2021—Ox
- Feb. 1, 2022—Tiger or Cat
- Jan. 22, 2023—Hare or Rabbit
Customs, Recipes, & Cookbooks
for Lunar New Year
In many respects, the Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans celebrate their New Year more like we celebrate Christmas. For about a month before the old year ends, and for the first two weeks of the new year, Asian families practice specific rituals, customs and celebrations in honor of the New Year, including gift-giving, decorations, worship, travel, parades, reunions and feasts....more @ Lunar New Year Customs, Recipes, & Cookbooks.
In 2000, the Year of the Dragon roared open the millennium, and comes around again in 2012.....more @ Dragon Breathes Fire into Millennium.
A Tale of the Ox
with Susanna Foo's Recipes
Susanna Foo, acclaimed author and owner of the award-winning Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine in Philadelphia, recalls her childhood New Year's memories of Northern China and Taiwan....more @ A Tale of the Ox.
Honoring the Kitchen God:
A New Year Tradition
by Kate Heyhoe
Suppose a benevolent visitor moved into your house, stayed all year, then reported your moral actions to the higher-ups—would you tolerate it? You would if you lived in China, for that visitor would be Kitchen God....more @ Kitchen God.
Fun Facts on Lunar New Year
with New Year Recipes
I first became acquainted with New Year customs through Martin Yan. Most people know Martin as the affable, wok-slinging, cleaver-wielding chef of television's Yan Can Cook series. Martin taught me how different foods—minced vegetables, the cupping of foods in lettuce leaves, and the presentation of oranges and tangerines—are used to suggest wealth and prosperity in the New Year....more @ Fun Facts on Lunar New Year.
"Hunger is the best chef," goes the Chinese proverb. But if you want to have a real Chinese dining experience, rather than just a meal, here are some tips for ordering in a Chinese restaurant....more @ How to Order in a Chinese Restaurant.
Tale of the Trusty Tiger
with Mung Bean Sprout Salad
A woodsman walked through a bamboo grove and lost his footing, only to land in a tiger's lair. He tried to get out but couldn't.....more @ Tale of the Trusty Tiger.
In The Chinese Kitchen
by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
America's leading authority on Chinese cooking, Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, shares her knowledge of culinary history, recipes, techniques, and ingredients in The Chinese Kitchen. "In Chinese households, the gods eat with us at our table, and food is what we offer as gifts, as sacrifices to them."....more @ Chinese Kitchen.
Lunar New Year's Recipes
- New Year's Stars: Shao Mai
- Everyday Chinese Rice, by Barbara Tropp
- Salt-Baked Shrimp Jiu Yim Har
- Longevity Noodles Cheung Sau Jai Mien
Martin Yan Recipes
- Fresh Lumpia
- Grilled Vegetables with Miso Glaze
- New Year Fish Salad
- Roast Drunken Duck
- Stir-Fried Fresh Rice Noodles
- General Tso's Favorite Chicken
- Ginger Date Wontons
- Green Onion Cakes
- Triple Pepper Steak
Susanna Foo Recipes
- Recipes for a Celebratory Home Menu
- "Honeyed" Walnuts
- Orange Beef with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Poached Pears with Ginger
- Pork Dumplings with Soy-Ginger Sauce
- Soy-Ginger Sauce
- Additional Recipes from Susanna Foo
- Breast of Chicken Sautéed with Mushrooms
- Fresh Pineapple with Berry Sauce
- Jade Green Fried Rice with Crabmeat
- Spiced Shiitake Mushrooms
More About Chinese New Year
Asian Destinations (with Recipes)
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Holiday and Party Recipes (by holiday and date)
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This page modified January 2015