Chinese New Year
A reunion dinner, named as Nian Ye Fan, is held on New Years Eve during which family members gather for celebration. The venue will usually be in or near the home of the most senior member of the family. The New Years Eve dinner is very large and sumptuous and traditionally includes dishes of meat (namely, pork and chicken) and fish. Most reunion dinners also feature a communal hot pot as it is believed to signify the coming together of the family members for the meal. Most reunion dinners (particularly in the Southern regions) also prominently feature specialty meats (e.g. wax cured meats like duck and Chinese sausage) and seafood (e.g. lobster and abalone) that are usually reserved for this and other special occasions during the remainder of the year. In most areas, fish sounds the same as let there be fish every year. Eight individual dishes are served to reflect the belief of good fortune associated with the number. If in the previous year a death was experienced in the family, seven dishes are served.Red packets for the immediate family are sometimes distributed during the reunion dinner. These packets often contain money in certain numbers that reflect good luck and honorability. Several foods are consumed to usher in wealth, happiness, and good fortune. Several of the Chinese food names are homophones for words that also mean good things.Like many other New Year dishes, certain ingredients also take special precedence over others as these ingredients also has similar sounding names with prosperity, good luck, or even counting money.