年夜饭(团圆饭)
Dinner on Chinese New Year Eve


Dinner on Chinese New Year Eve, also known as Family Reunion Dinner is a very important part of Chinese New Year. People always pay special attention to it. The food is carefully prepared. Varieties of Chinese traditional dishes, dim sums, fruits, nuts, and candies, etc. in multi-shaped and delicately designed porcelain plates are placed neatly on a round table. The whole family sits around the table, enjoy the delicious food and talk excitedly about what's new or burst their sides with laughter at somebody’s jokes from time to time. Different from the Western table manners which demands quietness and courtesy, Chinese is more free and full of excitement and laughter. The dinner means the reunion of the family. Hence, every member of the family should be present. If there is one absentee, the family will not enjoy the dinner heartily. 

Dinner on Chinese New Year EveOn Chinese New Year Eve, there are usually cold dishes, meat dishes, soup dishes, and Jiaozi on the Beijingers’ table. Jiemo Duner (芥末墩儿) is a must-eat. It is a traditional cold dish made of Chinese cabbage and mustard. It tastes pungent. Beijingers are especially fond of the dish. Besides, fish and Sixi Meatballs (四喜丸子) are must-eat dishes, too. Fish represents prosperity and Sixi Meatballs symbolize happiness. Unlike people in southern China who eat rice on Chinese New Year Eve, Beijingers take Jiaozi as the main food of Family Reunion Dinner. Before they sit around the table to enjoy the dinner, Beijingers often worship and offer sacrifice to their ancestors. However, nowadays many Beijingers choose to have Family Reunion Dinner in restaurants.
 

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