Published by PETA.

The Lunar New Year is the time of year for the tastiest Asian foods around! Named after the lunar calendar and the cycles of the moon, each year is marked by one of 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and 2022 is the year of the tiger. These big cats are known for their strength and courage—qualities that you should try to embody going into the new year.

On Lunar New Year, friends and families gather to ring in the new year with quality time and food—lots of food. Whether your resolution is to save more animals or eat healthier, these traditional dishes will help you start the year off right.

Dumplings

These Asian staples resemble bags of gold. Tradition has it that the more you eat on the first day of the new year, the more prosperity (i.e., 💰) you’ll have in the months to come. Try these crispy, cheesy kimchi-miso dumplings from Okonomi Kitchen for a unique spin on this classic dish.

Noodles

The longer the noodle, the better! You can have noodles in a variety of ways—served cold, in soup, stir-fried, or with some tofu or veggies. A superstition warns against cutting noodles because they symbolize longevity, so be super-careful and use chopsticks to avoid breakage. Making noodles from scratch requires only a few simple ingredients to achieve the perfect chewy texture. This easy recipe by WoonHeng will have you slurping up every last noodle.

Spring Rolls

Fried and crunchy, spring rolls fit perfectly in your hand—and they resemble gold bars. While out at your local Asian restaurant, ask for rolls made without egg wrappers. If you want to try your hand at making these crunchy delights at home, try Tiffy Cooks’ recipe for traditional Taiwanese spring rolls.

Daikon Cake

How can you say no to fried things? These daikon patties are crispy on the outside and soft and savory on the inside. Eating them will supposedly help bring you good luck in the new year.

Sticky Rice Cake

According to the Plant-Based Wok, “The literal name for this dessert, nian gao, means ‘sticky cake’ (粘糕), but it’s also a homophone for nian gao (年高), which means ‘growing taller’ every year.” Because of this, it represents the growth and prosperity that the new year promises to bring. This sweet recipe uses coconut milk, almond extract, and sweet red bean paste for a delicious flavor combination.

Sweet Rice Balls

What a treat! Tang yuan are round, glutinous desserts that symbolize the full moon. When they’re grouped together in a bowl, they represent the circle of harmony within your family. These ones from Chez Jorge are filled with toasted black sesame seeds.

Tangerines, Oranges, and Pomelos

These citrus fruits are known for the luck that they supposedly bring. Eat one or more, because we all know that fruit is important for a balanced diet.

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Honor tigers by standing up for these big cats, who are exploited in the cub-petting industry and subjected to a lifetime of suffering in roadside zoos:

Take Action to Help Tigers in Crisis

Start the new year off right by taking our 3-Week Vegan Challenge and ordering a free vegan starter kit:

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