Happy Chinese New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar and solar Chinese calendar. In Chinese and other East Asian cultures, the festival is commonly referred to as the Spring Festival (Chinese: 春節 / 春节, Chūn jié) as the spring season in the lunisolar calendar traditionally starts with lichun, the first of the twenty-four solar terms which the festival celebrates around the time of the Lunar New Year. Marking the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, observances traditionally take place from New Year’s Eve, the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20

Chinese New Year Animals

Each year, the Chinese calendar celebrates a different zodiac animal. The 12 zodiac animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 

The year 2024 is the year of the dragon.  In Chinese culture, the dragon symbolizes good luck, strength, health, and the male element Yang. The dragon is unique because it is the only mythical creature of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac and babies are born in the year of the dragon more than any other animal.

Chinese New Year Food

The Lunar New Year, known in China as chūnjié (春节) or Spring Festival, is a festive time for many all over the world. The holiday features fireworks, new clothes, money-filled red envelopes (or hóngbāo – 红包) for kids, lots of redand most importantly, tons of good food. Chinese New Year food traditions are hugely symbolic. Traditions include serving two whole fish and saving one for leftovers to represent surplus in the new year, serving a whole chicken to represent wholeness and prosperity, and serving items like spring rolls, which resemble gold bars and symbolize wealth.

The Woks Of Life

Traditionally, on New Year’s Eve, the extended family gathers around the table for a meal that includes as the last course a fish that is symbolic of abundance and therefore not meant to be eaten. In the first five days of the New Year, long noodles are traditionally eaten to symbolize long life. On the 15th and final day of the New Year, round dumplings shaped like the full moon are shared as a sign of the family unit and of perfection.

Lunar New Year, History.com

Guest post: written by Elizabeth Cheung-O’Regan for Gestational Diabetes UK, fellow GD Mumma and GD UK Advisor in our Facebook support group

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes on Chinese New Year’s Day, and it was a big shock and upset me as Chinese New Year is like Christmas or Thanksgiving. It’s all to do with family and eating!
I missed out on my family meal as I had no idea what I could eat or not. I had no idea on food pairing and the 8 golden rules back then.

Many will celebrate Chinese New Year this year [which falls on Saturday 10th February] with gestational diabetes and since learning about how best to help control blood sugar levels with gestational diabetes through my own pregnancy, I’ve found my TOP recipes to share with you which you can try for Chinese New Year, or just for a change to your day to day meals.

*Please note you need to substitute the following foods to make the recipe tolerable for gestational diabetes:

  • White flour for wholemeal flour
  • Sugar for sweetener
  • Jasmine rice for Basmati/brown wholegrain or cauliflower rice

My all-time favourite [beef in oyster sauce] and similar to the one my mum makes at Chinese New Year! You can add some Chinese veg like Pak Choi or Choi Sum – if you can’t get any, then spinach and broccoli is always very tasty too:

This is a great one for vegetarians for a main or can be a side veggie dish – it’s very filling because of the tofu, and super tasty!…

And this is a great to make and have as left over lunch! Use left-over roast chicken from your Sunday roast:

Happy Chinese New Year – Enjoy everyone!

Gestational Diabetes UK Chinese Recipes

For some Chinese-style recipes which have been developed to achieve good blood glucose levels, take a look through some of my recipes which are based on my 8 Golden Rules

list of the GD UK 8 Golden Rules for a gestational diabetes diet

and here is a GD UK Subscription recipe that I created for Elizabeth’s Mum who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but has now successfully put her diabetes into remission by following my GD UK Diet and 8 Golden Rules! A Chinese celebration fruit cake: