Chinese New Year from the Sidelines

By Heidi Lewis

Play-by-play announcer, Joe, and his trusty color commentator, Bo, stand on the sidelines of Time.

Joe: “Well, Bo, here we are again—another spin of the zodiac. This is exciting! Children clutching bright red envelopes, piles of mandarins brightening up the place, and concussions of firecrackers sound like applause greeting the Year of the Serpent!”

Bo: “Indeed, the Chinese lunar new year begins with a new moon in Aquarius. It’s sure a colorful festival, Joe! Rife with traditions and symbolism. Many foods and objects carry great significance and blessings for luck in the new year.”

Joe: “Everything is so colorful!”

Bo: “Red is a particularly auspicious color, Joe. It adorns everything from envelopes with lucky money to lanterns, clothing, and decorations. And oranges—especially mandarins—are used as offerings. Their sweetness is symbolic of abundance and joy, and the bright orange color symbolizes prosperity. A gift of a mandarin with stem and leaves still attached is extra lucky.”

Joe: “What about other fruit, like apples?

Bo: “Well, Joe, when apples are given, they symbolize peace and wisdom—and bananas symbolize a wish for brilliance at work or school.”

Joe: “Chinese New Year’s eve is actually a quiet time for family, when folks come together for a reunion dinner. Those feasts are especially replete with symbolism. Shiitake mushrooms represent longevity and a reminder to seize opportunity. Green vegetables symbolize financial good fortune; and of course, when all veggies are mixed together, it’s metaphor for family harmony!”

Bo: “This is great stuff, Joe. It’s making me hungry!”

Joe: “Bo, do you have any predictions for the Year of the Serpent?”

Bo: “Well, wiser folks than I have that job, but it’s a good year to shed the old and make a change. So eat more fruit and veggies!”

Joe: “Did Vince Lombardi say that?”

Bo: “No—my mom.”

Share this post

Magazine Search

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

 

Recent Food articles:

The joy of nut (and seed) butters
July 22, 2015
Beat the summer heat with the contents of your fridge and pantry
June 15, 2015
The babies of the stone fruit season
May 26, 2015
Tips to avoid late-night snacking and lose weight
May 21, 2015
April 28, 2015
From salad to shortcake, ways to enjoy the heart-shaped berry
March 25, 2015
"Please, sir—I want some more!"
February 25, 2015
February 24, 2015
Operating instructions for America's favorite fruit
January 27, 2015

More recent articles:

The FruitGuys third Iron Chef competition a sizzling success
July 29, 2015
Save Sonoma County’s special apple, the Gravenstein
July 13, 2015
A good night’s sleep and how to get it
July 13, 2015
July 13, 2015
Creative ways to cut office food waste
July 9, 2015
Adapted from allrecipes.com
June 24, 2015
Like pets, office sweaters (and jackets, shawls, and hand warmers) have a lot to say about their owner.
June 23, 2015
Dynamic warm-ups prepare your body and protect against injury
June 22, 2015

About Us

The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.