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10 Chinese New Year Food Superstitions


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Prosperity Tray
The prosperity tray is full of sweet treats, all with their own special meaning.
The prosperity tray is full of sweet treats, all with their own special meaning.
©iStockphoto.com/heavenice

The Chinese New Year prosperity tray is usually a hexagonal or round dish that contains eight traditional candy varieties. The number eight represents prosperity, and each candy has symbolic significance. Made from traditional ingredients, like red melon seeds, peanuts or candied melon, these treats are offered to children and guests.

When an adult takes a candy from the tray, he replaces it with a red envelope, or Lai See, that contains a money gift for good luck. The amount of the gift usually ends in an even number, often an eight [source: Moriarity].

The eight traditional candies are:

  • Candied melon - good health
  • Coconut - togetherness
  • Kumquat - prosperity
  • Lychee nuts - family ties
  • Longan - fertility (for bearing sons)
  • Lotus seeds - a large family
  • Peanuts - long life
  • Red melon seeds - happiness, truth

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