Tossing in the Chinese New Year: Yu Sheng Style

For BlogIMG_2375Forget party poppers streaming down from the air, for Chinese New Year in Singapore it’s all about salad falling from the sky instead! It’s the closest you can get to a fully fledged food fight and in super high-class restaurants too. Yu Sheng is definitely a tradition worth embracing.

The art of Yu Sheng (the ‘Prosperity Toss’) started in the 1960s by Chinese Singapore & Malaysia communities. Translated literally it means ‘Raw Fish’ (one of the main ingredients) and symbolises abundance, prosperity and good luck for the year ahead. (The Year of the Snake.) Families and friends gather to toss the shared ingredients into the air. The more height they clear the more prosperity that falls upon you. Not as easy as you’d think using chopsticks.

Each ingredient has the following meaning:

Raw fish = abundance & excess
Lime = luck & smooth sailing
Pepper = wealth & treasures
Oil = flow of money & wealth
Carrots = blessings of good luck
Green radish = eternal youth
White radish = promotion in business
Peanut crumbs = household filled with gold and silver
Sesame seeds = flourishing business
Deep fried crisps = floor full of pillows of gold

When/Where: Chinese New Year in 2013 falls on 10th & 11th February. Celebrations are held all over the city with Yu Sheng sets available in Cold Storage supermarkets, or in Chinese Restaurants offering set meals. We visited Crystal Jade, Vivo City, where waiters prepare the dish on large revolving tables of 10, and explain the meanings & history.

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