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During Chinese New Year, everything done and served is with reason as it has deep meanings.
We may look forward to enjoying these desserts every time the lunar new year rolls in but do you know that there is actually meaning behind these sweet treats?
1. Nian Gao (Glutinous Rice Cake)
Or more casually referred to as kuih bakul in Malaysia. Nian Gao directly translates into ‘high’ and ‘year’ and when put into more sense is ‘getting higher year on’. There is even a lucky saying when eating nian gao which is ‘niánnián gāo’ that means ‘getting higher year after year’. This can be implied to a rise in their businesses, children’s studies and other aspect in life.
2. Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Dumplings)
The round shape of the dumplings symbolises the reunion, togetherness and unity within a family. Tang Yuan is one of the most popular desserts during Chinese New Year, especially during the last day. These dumplings are often filled with mashed peanuts, black sesame seeds.
3. Fatt Gao (Palm Sugar Steamed Muffins)
Fatt Gao is also called Prosperity Cakes. A cherished tradition during Chinese New Year, making or even just eating these cakes brings back a lot of fond memories. Fatt Gao symbolises an abundance of good luck and prosperity for the family in every aspect. This cake is made from gula melaka thus having that fragrant smoky aroma, and its moist and soft texture makes it so delicious.
4. Kuih Kapit
A definite crowd favourite, the kuih kapit is a must have on Chinese New Year. This addictive treat is made from rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and eggs. They are also called ‘Chinese Love Letters’ because back in the day, Peranakan girls made to hide a note for their crush (which was then thrown over the wall of the boy’s house) as they weren’t allowed to meet boys their own age without chaperons.
5. Walnut Cookies
Another crowd favourite, these cookies have a soft and fluffy texture that makes it so delicious. It’s perfect when paired with a hot drink. Some even say that walnut cookies stands for happiness.
6. Peanut Brittle
This sweet and crispy treat is made out of peanuts and malt sugar. Simple yet delicious. Peanut brittle also symbolises longevity and good fortune.
7. Mandarin Oranges
It may not be sweet all the time, in fact some of them are super sour. But you can’t leave mandarin oranges out! The round and ‘golden’ colour of the fruit symbolises fullness and wealth. Furthermore, this fruit is believed to bring good luck and fortune when displayed and eaten.