Published by PETA.

The Lunar New Year is the time of year for only 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 (similar to zodiac signs, but these cute critters take the spotlight annually). And many Asian friends and families ring in the new year together with quality time and food—lots of food.

So whether your resolution is to eat healthier, exercise more, or be a better person, here are some traditional Asian dishes to help you start the new year off right:

Dumplings

The main Asian staple, they resemble blocks of gold. Eat as many as you can on the first day of the new year, and tradition says that it’ll help you find prosperity, i.e., money 💰 in the months to come. Try some that are stuffed with mushrooms or tofu for a chewier dumpling.

Asian-style dumplings

Noodles

The longer the noodle strand, the better! Take your noodles in a variety of ways: in soups, stir-fried, or cold. Spruce them up 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.

Spring Rolls

Fried and crunchy, they fit perfectly in your hand, and like dumplings, they resemble gold bars. While out at your local Asian restaurant, ask for rolls made without egg wrappers.

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.

Sweet Rice Balls

What a treat! These round, glutinous desserts symbolize the full moon. When they’re grouped together in a bowl, they represent the circle of harmony within your family. They’re chewy and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy this plant-based treat.

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 contributes to a balanced daily diet.

Order one of our free vegan starter kits for the new year!

This page is adapted from peta2.

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