Vegetables and the Lunar New Year, Traditions to Celebrate

Vegetables and the Lunar New Year, Traditions to Celebrate

As much of Asia, and Asian communities around the world, celebrate the Lunar New Year it is a time of families coming together and feasting. Dependent on where you are from any number of delights might be enjoyed – dumplings, hot pot (usually a communal tabletop pot of boiling soup to which ingredients are added and cooked in front of everyone), mandarin oranges and vegetable dishes.

In Asian cultures foods or ingredients can have particular significance. Some Buddhist households prepare a vegetarian dish the night before the new year and are vegetarian on the first day of the Chinese New Year to earn good karma. Other households celebrate on the 7th Day of Chinese New Year and celebrate RenRi 人日, ‘People’s Day’. On this date everyone has a shared birthday, growing older by one year. Families in Singapore and Malaysia might also celebrate with a colorful tossed raw fish and vegetable salad called YuSheng 鱼生 or, in Cantonese, LoyHey 撈起.

Another traditional dish celebrating RenRi is the 7 Vegetables Dish. After 7 days of feasting, time for a detox day of greens! There are no fixed ingredients but 7 is the number. Stir-fried, steam-fried or lightly cooked in stock, ingredients may include:

  • Amaranth aka Bayam
  • Coriander
  • Garlic Chives
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Choy Sum
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Chinese Lettuce
  • Chrysanthemum Greens
  • Kai Lan
  • Kang Kong
  • Leek
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard Greens
  • Pak Choy
  • Spring Onion / Scallion
  • Tatsoi

This year the First Day of the Lunar New Year is Sunday 22nd January and the RenRi falls on Saturday 28th.

 However you may celebrate, wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

 祝大家新年快乐, 身体健康!


This content is brought to you by The Whole Health Practice. Alastair Hunt (NBC-HWC) is the Founder and Chief Wellbeing Officer at The Whole Health Practice. Based in Singapore, The Whole Health Practice supports individuals and teams around the world to improve their health, performance and vitality. Want to learn more about healthy living or sign-up for regular health content? Visit

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