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Lunar New Year's Eve dinners across China

2019-February-5       Source: CRIenglish.com

The dinner on the Lunar New Year's Eve is considered one of the most important meals on the Chinese calendar. So what's being served across dinner tables in China to mark the start of the "Year of the Pig"?

The dinner on the Lunar New Year's Eve is considered one of the most important meals on the Chinese calendar. So what's being served across dinner tables in China to mark the start of the "Year of the Pig"?

1. Special dish: Pearl meatballs

Location: Huangshi, Hubei Province

Zhenzhu wanzi, or 'pearl meatballs' in Mandarin, is a traditional dish in Hubei Province. Rather than fried, the steamed meatballs are covered with sticky rice. They're reputed to be healthier and milder in flavor, which is a wise choice, given that a lot of heavy and greasy food is often eaten during the holiday. Known as a "province of thousands of lakes," Hubei is known in China for fish and rice. As such, rice is a staple in local dishes. [Photo: China Plus/Xu Leiying]

Zhenzhu wanzi, or 'pearl meatballs' in Mandarin, is a traditional dish in Hubei Province. Rather than fried, the steamed meatballs are covered with sticky rice. They're reputed to be healthier and milder in flavor, which is a wise choice, given that a lot of heavy and greasy food is often eaten during the holiday. Known as a "province of thousands of lakes," Hubei is known in China for fish and rice. As such, rice is a staple in local dishes. [Photo: China Plus/Xu Leiying]

Dishes prepared for Lunar New Year's Eve, Huangshi, Hubei Province, February 4, 2019. [Photo: China Plus/Xu Leiying]

2. Special dishes: Hot pot, pot chicken, preserved meats

Location: Xichang, Sichuan Province

Hot pot is popular in Sichuan Province. With a history tracing itself to the Warring States Period (475-221BCE), hot pot lets several people share a meal with one large, boiling bowl. Photos show a family sharing a hot pot meal to ring in the "Year of the Pig," Xichang, Sichuan Province, February 4, 2019. [Photo: China Plus/Jiang Yi]

Dishes for the Lunar New Year's Eve, Xichang, Sichuan Province, February 4, 2019. Pot chicken is a famed dish in Sichuan Province, featuring various ingredients and chicken mixed together. Locals often make their own preserved meats ahead of the Spring Festival. Smoked meats are said to enhance the appetite, as well as help with digestion. [Photo: China Plus/Jiang Yi]

3. Special dish: Eight-treasure rice pudding

Location: Panjin, Liaoning Province

"Eight-treasure rice pudding," Babaofan in Mandarin, is a combination of sticky rice, sugar, red dates and raisins. The traditional dish is popular across the country. It is said to embody auspiciousness, peace and happiness for the coming year. [Photo: China Plus/Guo Yan]

4. Special dish: Fried dough twists

Location: Lanzhou, Gansu Province

Sanzi, a fried dough twist, set out for a New Year's dinner in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, February 4, 2019. Fried dough twists are a traditional food in northwest China, where locals generally eat flour-based pastries ahead of the Lunar New Year. [Photo: China Plus/Sang Yarong]

5. Special dish: Fish

Location: Xiangyang, Hubei Province

A photo, taken on February 4, 2019, Lunar New Year's Eve, showing a family reunion in Hubei Province. Two main dishes are at the center of the table. One is a soup dish made up of pork and Suancai, or pickled cabbage. The other is a fish dish, considered a must-have in Hubei, which is intersected by the Yangtze River. Fish is said to represent abundance for the new year. [Photo: China Plus/Hu Yijing]

Photo shows home-made dumplings in Hubei Province, February 4, 2019, Lunar New Year's Eve. [Photo: China Plus/Hu Yijing]

6. Special dish: Fried cicada

Location: Kaifeng, Henan Province

Fried cicada prepared for a New Year's dinner in Kaifeng, Henan Province, February 4, 2019. Cicadas are eaten in various countries, including China, where the insects are normally served deep-fried. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Fei]

Editor: Will

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