年夜饭 /nián yè fàn/ Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner
New Year’s Eve dinner, also known as New Year’s dinner, reunion dinner, reunion dinner, etc., especially refers to the family dinner at the end of the year on New Year’s Eve (the day before the Spring Festival). People who work outside the home will go back to their hometowns to reunite with their families before New Year’s Eve. The Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner is a family reunion dinner. This meal is the most important dinner for the family at the end of the year.
The New Year’s Eve dinner is the highlight before the New Year every year. It is not only colorful, but also has many meanings. Traditionally, the New Year’s Eve dinner is eaten after worshiping ancestors on New Year’s Eve. Before eating the New Year’s Eve dinner, worship gods and ancestors first, and then start eating after the worship ceremony.
The Spring Festival is the most solemn and lively traditional festival among Chinese people. There are many Spring Festival customs, and the annual New Year’s Eve dinner fully demonstrates the mutual respect and love among Chinese family members. This mutual respect and love makes the relationship between the family closer. The reunion of the family often makes the “head of the family” feel spiritually comforted and satisfied. The elderly see their children and grandchildren in the house, and the whole family talks about family affairs. The past care and efforts in raising the children have not been in vain. What a blessing it is, and The younger generation can also take this opportunity to express their gratitude to their parents for their upbringing. In fact, with the progress of the times, this ancient tradition is also facing severe challenges. Many people have to choose not to go home during the New Year due to the pressure of life, which may also make the New Year’s Eve dinner an empty talk.
The annual New Year’s Eve dinner is a feast for the whole family. Every household will serve dishes that are rarely seen on weekdays or that have auspicious meanings: there are usually chickens (meaning good luck) and fish (meaning new year). Dishes such as glutinous rice balls (meaning reunion), lotus root (meaning wisdom) are used to bring good luck in the new year. This is also an expectation for a better life in the coming year. During the New Year’s Eve dinner, what you eat is joy, what you taste is family affection, and what you smell in the aroma of the rice is the taste of home. The annual New Year’s Eve dinner is extremely important to the Chinese people. The whole family respects and loves each other, talks about family affairs, and feels happy sitting around the dining table.