Symbolism in Chinese Food

Symbolism is a very important part of Chinese people’s life. A lot of Chinese foods are also symbolic, especially during traditional festivals or other special occasions.

For Chinese New Year:
  • Black moss seaweed - wealth
  • Dried Bean Curd - happiness
  • Chicken - happiness and marriage (especially when served with "dragon foods," such as lobster. Family reunion (if served whole)
  • Eggs - fertility
  • Egg Rolls - wealth
  • Fish served whole - prosperity
  • Lychee nuts - close family ties
  • Noodles - A long life
  • Oranges – wealth, luck
  • Chicken - part of the symbolism of the dragon and phoenix. At a Chinese wedding, chicken's feet (sometimes referred to as phoenix feet) are often served with dragon foods such as lobster. Chicken is also popular at Chinese New Year, symbolizing a good marriage and the coming together of families (serving the bird whole emphasizes family unity).
  • Peanuts - a long life
  • Peaches - peacefulness
  • Pomelo - abundance, prosperity, having children
  • Seeds (lotus, watermelon, etc.) - having a large number of children
  • Tangerines - luck
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Peking Delight
21001 San Ramon Valley Blvd (A-3)
San Ramon, CA 94583
Phone: (925) 828-3686


China Wok
9 N Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 280-6688

Kam Wah Chinese
7163 Lake Worth Rd
Lake Worth, FL 33467
Phone: (561) 964-3110

Meimei Restaurant
2520-2522 Santa Clara Ave
Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 865-1311

Wingloon Restaurant
3520 N Andrews Ave
Oakland Park, FL 33309
Phone: (954) 561-8100