New Year celebrations are gearing up for all of us celebrating January 1, on the Gregorian calendar and candy has its rightful place as part of any New Year party. Colored candy is really hot and so are candy buffets. It isn’t too late to order bulk supplies of colored candy for a brilliant and super stylish New Year event.
Folks in the western world aren’t the only people who herald the New Year with candy. Those who celebrate Chinese New Year also do so with special candy arrangements which are part of the celebration and luck bringing rituals of Chinese New Year. This year the New Year falls on February 3. A traditional Chinese candy tray is called the Tray of Togetherness and it is arranged in a circle or an octagon. Every item on the tray represents good fortune and it is customary for adults who take candy from a Tray of Togetherness to replace the candy with a red envelope containing money. Sounds lucky right there!
Each of the candies is placed on the tray in 8 segments because the number 8 in China is lucky in the same way that 7 is in the West. The individual candy types each have a distinct meaning.
- Peanuts – long life
- Ginger – many good sons
- Lotus seed – many children
- Candied melon – growth and good health
- Red melon seed – dyed red to symbolize joy, happiness, truth and sincerity
- Lychee nut – strong family relationships
- Chocolate coins- prosperity
- Coconut – togetherness
Another Chinese New Year favorite is chocolate candy (of course) which is easily made and is a really special treat; great if you want to try something a little bit different.
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups butterscotch chips
- 2 1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
- 4 cups chow mein noodles
- Butter a 9×13 inch dish.
- Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in peanuts. Stir in noodles until they are well coated. Press into prepared dish. Chill until set and cut into squares.
Whether you opt to go with the very popular colored candy options or if you decide to try something new and put a distinct cultural spin on your New Year activities, candy is sure to make the occasion sweet!
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