What’s on the table for Chinese New Year?
Family is the basis of the Chinese society, which is seen through the significance placed on the New Year’s Eve dinner (年夜饭 / Nián yèfàn) or Reunion dinner (团年饭 / tuán niánfàn). This feast is extremely important to Chinese families. All family members must come back home. If they truly can’t make it, the rest of the family will leave their spot empty and place a spare set of utensils for them. In the legend of the Spring Festival’s origin, this was the time when the monster Nian would come and terrorize the villages. The people would hide in their homes, prepare a feast with offerings to the ancestors and gods, and hope for the best.