Well, besides the festivities and red envelopes (which, by the way, I'm totally still allowed to collect on since I'm unmarried :D). So what is it? ...It's nian gao! Also known as Chinese new year's cake. It's like a Chinese mochi. Yes, I have orchids readily available for food garnishing. What? ;) Every year, around the week before Chinese new year, my kitchen turns into a nian gao … more
Nián gāo, Year cake or Chinese new year's cake is a food prepared from glutinous rice and consumed in Chinese cuisine. It is available in Asian supermarkets and from health food stores. While it can be eaten all year round, traditionally it is most popular during Chinese New Year. It is considered good luck to eat nian gao during this time, because "nian gao" is a homonym for "higher year." The Chinese word 粘 (nián), meaning "sticky", is identical in sound to 年, meaning "year", and the word 糕 (gāo), meaning "cake" is identical in sound to 高, meaning "high". As such, eating nian gao has the symbolism of raising oneself higher in each coming year (年年高升 niánnián gāoshēng).