Lee Xin Li
Tossing Yusheng / 捞起鱼生
Here’s another infographic from Lee Xin Li, but one that requires a little more explanation.
In Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, us Chinese folks celebrate the New Year by eating a salad called yusheng, which literally means “raw fish”. All the ingredients are symbolic of prosperity and luck in some way; we go through a ritual of tossing the ingredients in the air with chopsticks before eating it all.
It’s thought to have been popularised as a way for restaurants to make money during the festive period, when most folks would want to gather at home with their families. Both Malaysia and Singapore claim to have invented the dish, but its deeper roots lie among the Cantonese fishing communities of China.
Lee managed to get a list of symbolic meanings from Come Let’s Eat:
鸿运当头 (Hong Yun Dang Tou) meaning “Good luck is approaching"
青春常驻 (Qing Chun Chang Zhu) meaning “Everlasting Youth“
风生水起 (Feng Sheng Shui Qi) meaning “Quick progression”
Pepper / Cinnamon Powder:
招财进宝 (Zhao Cai Jin Bao) meaning “Attract wealth and treasures”
五福临门 (Wu Fu Lin Men) meaning “To attract luck to your doorstep”
财源广进 (Cai Yuan Guang Jin) meaning “to attract many sources of wealth”
Pomelo or Lime:
大吉大利 (Da Ji Da Li) meaning “Good luck and smooth sailing”
年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu) meaning “Abundance through the year”
生意兴隆/大小平安 (Sheng Yi Xing Long/Da Xiao Ping An) meaning “Prosperity for the business”/ “Peace for all ages”
甜甜蜜蜜 (Tian Tian Mi Mi) meaning “May sweetness enter your life”
满地黄金/金银满屋 (Man Di Huang Jin) / (Jin Yin Man Wu) meaning “Floor full of gold” / “Household filled with gold and silver”