10 Chinese New Year Food Superstitions

Like many cultures, the Chinese have a rich history in food. See more pictures of Chinese New Year foods.

Beyond its obvious association with renewal and new beginnings, Chinese New Year is made up of a rich fabric of symbols, traditions and superstitions designed to influence the future. With a cultural heritage that spans more than 5,000 years, it's a 15-day celebration filled with subtle nuances and relationships, many of them involving food [source: Chang].

Think of your dreams for the New Year, not just about your list of resolutions, but about what you hope fate has in store for you. Now imagine a set of observances that will help give fate a push in the right direction. Many Chinese New Year traditions are about sending the cosmos a message using common objects to represent ideas. This is where food fits so perfectly into the pattern. Food is about sustenance, abundance, home, health, wealth, family, sharing and preparing for the future. These are all positive things that fit well with common New Year's hopes and wishes.

In Chinese tradition, by observing practices that are part faith, part folklore and part custom, you can encourage happiness and wealth into your life.