Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese Food


China as a country has a rich history that percolates everything. Food, culture, families, rituals, festivals everything reflects this heritage. The Chinese as people have retained most of the historical practices even in the fast paced world that we live in today. They are bound by their belief and value system that are the very foundation of their existence.

Chinese food is part of this rich history that China boasts of. Food is integral to any culture, more so, when a particular culture has survived generations of changes. Then it reaches cult status according to me. For many of us, food from China is introduced as ready to cook noodles available in retail stores or noodles placed as order Chinese food online. But, there is more to Chinese food beyond noodles. There is a philosophy that has guided it to become what it is today. Chinese food also leans heavily on symbolism.

The general underlying principle regarding food amongst the Chinese folks is that it is a time for union, friendly banter, sharing and being there for each other. It is for this very reason that Chinese restaurants are noisy and busy. Some people even believe that Chinese food in a quite restaurant symbolizes not great food. Of course if one were to order Chinese food online, then there is hardly anything that can be said about noisy or busy.

Food is also used as a means to express certain emotions and feelings. This is the reason there are specific food items made during specific occasions. Here is a list of interesting symbolisms associated with Chinese food. It is deeply touching to know the meaning of these symbolisms.

Here are the list of Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese Food

10. Noodles symbolize longevity

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodOne will seldom find a birth day party sans noodles. It is more important than a birthday cake. It is for this very reason that cutting noodles in a birthday party is seen as a bad omen.

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9. Eggs symbolize fertility

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese Food The Chinese share eggs when blessed with a baby. The gender of the baby decides the number of eggs shared. Even number of eggs for a girl and odd number for a boy are shared.

8. Dumplings symbolize good fortune, family and good luck

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese Food Dumplings package goodness inside hence this symbolism.

7. Chicken represents family unity

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodIt is believed that serving the whole chicken brings wholesomeness and family unity. Most Chinese weddings have chicken served.

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6. Seeds represent progeny

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodChinese New Year is a wonderful time to taste seed based goodies. It is the time to thank and remember the ancestors. Lotus seed based moon cakes are made as an offering. The underlying logic is that many seeds represent the many children of ancestors.

5. Fruits are symbols of abundance and good luck

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodTangerines, pomelos and oranges are passed around freely during New Year as they sound and represent wealth, abundance and good luck.

4. Sticky rice cakes represent familial bonding

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodThe Chinese New Year witnesses the making of the most traditional recipes. The sticky rice cake is one such dish. It is supposed to represent family bonding. The core is sweet and the layers are closely bonded, an ideal way a family should be.

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3. Vegetables represent wealth and eternity

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodThe Chinese garlic clove and bamboo shoot are no ordinary vegetables. The former represents eternity and the latter wealth.

2. Fish is a symbol of prosperity

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodThe Chinese people believe that Fish brings prosperity. Hence it is served in all special occasions. Sometimes the whole fish is served because of this belief.

1. Ducks represent fidelity

Top 10 Symbolisms in Chinese FoodMost Chinese wedding banquets serve peking duck as one of the key dishes. This is because of the belief that ducks are loyal to their partners. An ideal blessing for any married couple.

These symbolisms are age hold and have been consistent through generational changes. It is not easy to find the origin of them but the good sense that prevails due to these symbolisms are a proof that the Chinese knew their fruits, vegetables, meat stock and symbols well.


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