With the celebration of Chinese New Year this Sunday, many vegetables will feature in traditional meals due to their symbolism within Chinese cultural beliefs.

Buddhists have long considered vegetables to be incredibly auspicious, particularly during New Year celebrations. Lo han jai, also known as ‘Buddha’s delight’, is a dish comprised entirely of vegetables that is served on the first day of the Chinese New Year. 

“The Chinese have praised vegetables for their cleansing and purifying properties for thousands of years. We already know that vegetables are good for you, so incorporate some buk choy or wombok cabbage into your favourite meal this Sunday evening,” said AUSVEG Spokesperson, Hugh Gurney.

AUSVEG is the national Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers

Bean sprouts are one of the main ingredients of Buddha’s delight, due to their likeness to ruyi, an ancient Chinese sceptre that represents power and good fortune.

Leafy Asian greens, such as buk choy, represent longevity for one’s parents and form an integral part of Chinese New Year celebrations.

“These notions stem from ancient rural China where all life was deemed sacred and meat was rarely eaten, save for festive holidays.”

“Asian vegetables such as gai choy, gai lan and kang kong are a good source of Vitamin A and C, are high in fibre and low in kilojoules. Delicious root vegetables such as taro and lotus root can be fried, stewed or even ground down to be used in cakes.”

“Lettuce will also be popular this Chinese New Year as the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds a great deal like ‘rising fortune’.”

“As the next Chinese New Year is the year of the snake, perhaps consider incorporating snake beans into your diet as your new year’s resolution. They are similar to green beans, but have a stronger flavour and a denser texture,” said Mr Gurney.

MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney – Spokesperson – AUSVEG

Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0410 047 432, Email: hugh.gurney@ausveg.com.au