Today signals the beginning of the Chinese new year – this year it is the Tiger! But humans don’t need a Tiger’s carnivorous diet to thrive in this year! 

The Lunar New Year of the Tiger begins on Feb. 1, 2022. If you were born in the Year of the Tiger (1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010), people may find you brave and confident, charming but unpredictable. Tigers are resilient, passionate and daring, have a dynamic personality and are well-liked.

Lucky numbers for those born in a Tiger year are 1, 3 and 4 or any combination thereof. Unlucky numbers are 6, 7, and 8. Lucky colors for the Tiger are blue, grey, and orange and lucky flowers include the lily.

Babies born this year will be Water Tigers. These babies will be social butterflies and are likely to be both smart and humorous. Celebrities born in the year of the Tiger include Queen Elizabeth, Tom Cruise, Leo DiCaprio and Lady Gaga.

Follow these Chinese New Year traditions and you practically ensure a wonderful new year!

Chinese New Year traditions

1. Wear red, not white
White symbolizes death in the Asian culture so wearing predominantly white is a no-no. Also avoid giving white flowers – instead bring a colorful bouquet. Try to wear a new outfit on New Year’s Day—just not a white one!

2. Forget greeting cards
Give red envelopes instead! Known in Mandarin as hong bao, red envelopes containing money are often given from elders to children or unwed young adults. Avoid giving amounts ending in four as the word for “four” sounds much like the word for “death” in Mandarin.

3. Don’t cut or wash hair on New Year’s Day
Do these in the week or so leading up to New Year’s Day, but don’t do it on the day of as you don’t want to wash away or cut short your luck! Same goes for knives and scissors – avoid using them.

4. Avoid using a broom
You should clean your house before and not on the day of as you don’t want to sweep out any good luck. Also, don’t take out the trash. Do this before or after.

5. Open windows
Blow in the good luck and blow out the bad the days leading up to New Year’s Day (unless it’s too cold to do so!)

6. Eat traditional food
Some of the things you should eat during New Year’s: Dumplings, noodles, fruit like oranges, tangelos and pomelos. Here are explanations for why some foods are associated with luck and good fortune for Chinese New Year.

  • Dumplings symbolize wealth and prosperity as they look like ancient Chinese ingots/money.
  • Noodles symbolize longevity and strands should be eaten whole and not bit in half or cut.
  • Fruit like oranges and pomelos symbolize fullness and wealth. Some say the more fruit you eat the more wealth will be brought to you.

If you are thinking of cooking for the occasion, here’s a great recipe from PETA!

Dumplings at restaurants can sometimes contain pig parts, so try these veggie dumplings for a kind option. For many, wonton, dumpling, and spring roll wrappers can be intimidating. They’re always so delicate and often quite small. And they always seem to dry out before you’re even done working with them! To this, I must say, practice makes perfect.

Delicate wrappers used to encase an endless number of delicious fillings are quite tricky to work with, but once you learn a few basic tips on how to handle them, it can be a breeze.

The keys are to make sure they’re not too dry or too wet, to work quickly, and to apply the right amount of pressure. You don’t want to be too rough so that your super-thin sheet of dough tears, but you also don’t want the finished product to fall apart while cooking. That would be disastrous.

And since speed is important when working with wrappers, be sure to prep your filling in advance and have your work station ready to go. By following these basic tips and by practicing, you’ll have the technique down in no time, and you’ll be able to whip up a batch of the healthy vegetable-filled steamed dumplings featured here. Enjoy!

Vegan Dumplings

Makes 35 to 40 small dumplings

1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms (any type)
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
35-40 small dumpling wrappers

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, red pepper, onion, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir until combined and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Form the dumplings by placing the wrappers on a dry working surface one at a time.
  • Place 1 teaspoon of the vegetable mixture in the center of the wrapper, wet the edges of the wrapper with water, and then fold one side over and pinch the edges until sealed. The dumplings will be in the shape of a half moon. Repeat the procedure until all of the filling is gone.
  • Bring 1/2 inch of water to a simmer over medium heat. In a steamer, place as many dumplings as will fit without touching each other. Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.
  • Serve the dumplings while they’re hot and with a side of your favorite dipping sauce.

Original Source: https://www.elle.com.au