02/10/2015 02:14 EST | Updated 02/04/2019 14:14 EST

14 Traditional Chinese New Year Foods To Enjoy At Spring Festival

Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2015.

Food is such an important part of Chinese culture that it not only acts as a kind of sustenance, but also extends beyond that to symbolism. Different dishes and meals can represent one's station in life, as well as privilege.

For example, wealthy individuals might devote much of their income to their daily meals and celebratory feasts, because what they put on their plates (and the plates of their loved ones) can help cement their status as individuals.

Food, not surprisingly, is heavily symbolic in China. During Chinese New Year — perhaps the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar — specific dishes and food items are consumed as a way to usher in a prosperous coming year. Take a look at the slideshow below for what to eat this Lunar New Year!


Photo gallery Chinese New Year Recipes See Gallery