Gong Hei Fat Choi! (Happy and prosperous year!)
Chinese New Year is fast approaching (it's Monday 8th of February) and what better way to ring in the Year of the Monkey than to cook up a party in your own home? Whether you want to celebrate on the night or join in the nationwide celebrations on the weekend of the 14th, look no further – these 10 great Chinese New Year food buys will show you how.
Get the party started
Nothing says party like a selection of finger food! We recommend this Chosen by You Chinese Snack Platter, £3. Get the whole family involved by making a selection of your own Oriental Spring Rolls with our easy recipe that even the kids will love.
FUN FACT: Each Chinese Year falls under one of 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac. This year will be the year of the 9th animal, the Monkey.
Use the right utensils
FUN FACT: Chinese New Year is also known as the 'Spring Festival' as it is traditionally associated with the start of spring, marking the end of the Chinese New Year the coldest part of winter.
It wouldn’t be a celebration if we didn’t treat ourselves. The whole family will love digging in to these Crispy Aromatic Half Duck Pancakes, £5 with their hands, or you can easily whip up a version of your own by roasting some Gressingham Duck Legs, £3.75 with Hoisin Sauce, £1.
FUN FACT: Chinese New Year is tied to the lunar Chinese calendar which is why the date of celebration changes every year.
Add some spice
Stock up your storecupboard with Chinese 5 Spice, 74p and you’ll be able to russel up a variety of homemade Chinese and Vietnamese dishes in a jiffy. Looking for some inspiration? These Crispy Chinese-style spring greens with spare ribs are sure to go down a treat!
FUN FACT: On Chinese New Year millions of red envelopes containing money called 'hong bao' or 'lai see' are traditionally exchanged from the older generation to the younger and from bosses to employees.
The takeaway experience
Just because you're throwing a party doesn't mean you have to cook from scratch – sometimes the nicest way to celebrate is by getting a takeaway together. Get the experience for less with Asda's range of takeaway bags such as this Chinese Banquet Meal for 2, only £6.
FUN FACT: In Chinese culture, Chinese New Year is a time of focusing on priorities such as making amends, reconciling grievances and re-establishing old ties.
Impress your guests
Looking to WOW? Go the whole hog with this Blue Dragon Crispy Chili Beef Batter mix and sauce, £1 to make your own version of the takeaway classic – no deep fat fryer necessary!
FUN FACT: Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last 16 days, from the day before Chinese New Year until the Lantern Festival, on the 15th day of the New Year.
Have a classic side
No chinese meal is complete without egg-fried rice. Get that homemade feeling by making our Chinese-style egg-fried rice recipe. Or, this George Home Rice Cooker, £9 will ensure it's quick and easy. Don't have time? Try these microwaveable egg fried rice bags from Uncle Ben's – at only £1 they're a bargain and they even have family favourites such as special fried rice.
FUN FACT: There are lots of Chinese New Year Superstitions. For instance, you shouldn't wash your hair on the day. Because hair is associated with wealth in the Chinese language, it is seen as washing your wealth for the year away.
Break out the beer
FUN FACT: Chinese new Year accounts for the world’s biggest use of fireworks. According to tradition, fireworks were set-off to scare away evil spirits, demons and Nian, the Chinese New Year monster.
Serve it in style
The Year of the Monkey is associated with the lucky colours of white, gold and blue, so remember to incorporate these along with the usual red. You won't go wrong with these George Home Bamboo chopsticks, Gold tablecloth and Red Glazed Stoneware Dinner Set. The lucky flowers for this year are chrysanthemum and alliums, so for an added bonus see if you can incorporate these into your decorations.
FUN FACT: Avoid giving gifts of clocks, scissors or pears on Chinese New Year as they all have a bad connotation in Chinese culture.
Finish with a flourish
It wouldn't be a party without something fun and both kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy celebrating the Year of the Monkey with this cute Monkey Pinata. Fill it to the brim with Chosen by You Monkey Mates Sweets.
FUN FACT: Famous people born in the Year of the Monkey include Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, Celine Dion, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Elizabeth Taylor, Daniel Craig, Mick Jagger, and Miley Cyrus.