Lunar New Year is right around the corner
It's no new year without Tteokguk to Koreans.
Koreans celebrate the new year by eating rice cake soup, for it is said to bring longevity and many blessings in the year to come.
Meanwhile, finishing a bowl represents growing another year older.
As I was thinking about Tteokguk, I started to wonder about what kind of dishes other countries eat to celebrate the new year.
Now, shall we get crackin'?
Jiaozi - China
Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in China, just like it is in Korea.
Chinese celebrate the new year by eating Jiaozi: Chinese boiled dumplings.
The origin of the name 'Jiaozi' is actually from the word 'Jaozi' which means, farewell to the old year and welcoming the new'.
Although it is known to be one of the main dishes for the lunar new year,
it has become quite casual these days. The ingredients change according to the occasion and the message to the others.
Toshikoshi Soba - Japan
Unlike Koreans and Chinese, Japanese celebrate the passing of the old year by eating Toshikoshi Soba: buckwheat noodles at the ringing of the New Year's bells. The name Toshikoshi Soba directly translates to year-passing noodles.
The long and thin noodles of the dish represent longevity and prosperity.
They use 100% buckwheat noodles in Toshikoshi Soba to make it easier to break; which is said to end ill-fated relationships and recover from diseases.
Crepe - France
If you happen to be in Paris during the new year's day, almost every house would smell like crepes. French have a lot of kinds of dish for the new year. But crepes always remain essential at a typical French house.
The thin pancake represents the sun, happiness, and prosperity.
There are many interesting myths about the delicious dish. If you make a crepe while holding a coin in the other hand, and if you perfectly flip it, it means you are going to get rich in the new year.
Focaccia - Bulgaria
Focaccia is a flat oven-baked bread which has originated with Etruscans or Ancient Greeks and first made popular in Italy.
Bulgarians bake focaccia with a coin inside during the new year's celebration.
The oldest person hands out slices to everybody and the person who received a slice with a coin is said to have an abundant new year.
It was great to learn about the new year's food traditions around the world today. Although the traditions are various in different cultures, it seems like wishing for a happy and blessed new year is the same for everywhere you go. Everyone enjoy the holidays stuffing your face with your loved ones!
Happy lunar new year, everyone!