Welcoming the Year of the Rabbit - Chinese New Year

As our teams across our offices celebrate Chinese New Year with their families, we thought we would take a moment to reflect on the deeper meanings behind the many colours, flavours and dishes of the traditional celebrations.

We asked our team to explain some of the more well-known symbols.

Kumquat (金橘- Jīn jú) “Jīn” means gold, while the 橘-jú sounds like 吉-Jí which means “lucky”. During Chinese New Year, many families will decorate their house with a kumquat plant – because the kumquat symbolizes wealth and good luck.

Sweet rice cake (年糕- Nián gāo) is delicacy that is mostly served during this festivity. It symbolizes progress, advancement, and growth. Nián (年) means “year,” and “gāo” (糕) is a homonym for “gāo” (高), which means, “tall,” “high,” or “expensive”. This delicacy, of which is usually gifted to the family and friends symbolizes getting promoted or raising oneself to a higher level in the year ahead.

Fish (鱼-Yú). Eating a whole fish for Chinese New Year dinner is one of the most popular customs. Serving fish as part of the meal is a way to extend greetings of 年年有餘- Nián nián yǒu yú. The fish should be the final dish served at the celebration dinner, and any leftovers should be saved for the first supper of the new year. This is symbolic to “having surplus year after year”.

Whether you are adorning your place in kumquats, sharing sweet rice cakes with friends, or tossing fish as high as you can, we wish you a happy new year, good luck and a prosperous year – "Xīnnián kuàilè" (新年快乐) to one and all!