Dumplings are the indispensable food for Chinese people on New Year's Day as well as other festivals. According to the traditional customs, dumplings should be prepared before 24:00 on New Year's Eve and eaten between 23:00 on New Year's Eve and 1:00 on New Year's Day.
As dumplings look like the ancient Chinese currency, "gold or silver ingot", eating dumplings on New Year's Day implies "ring in the New Year and bring in wealth & treasure".
Dumplings are often stuffed with coins, sugar, peanuts, jujubes and chestnuts. The one who eats the dumpling containing a coin is blessed with a large fortune in the coming year, the one who eats the dumpling containing sugar is blessed with a happy and sweet life, the one who eats the dumpling with peanuts is blessed with health and longevity, and the one who eats the dumpling with jujubes and chestnuts is blessed with birth to a baby. "枣" (zǎo, jujubes) shares the same pronunciation with "早", so it is often borrowed for a good wish.
Attention here! If you are invited by your Chinese friends to their New Year's Eve dinner, you had better chew the dumplings slowly and carefully, in case you swallow the coin as well as the good luck.
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