February 16th marks the start of the Chinese New Year, one of the world's most prominent and celebrated festivals both through history. An explosion of light, colour and sound, the event kicks off at the start of the Lunar Calendar and continues for 15 days until the great Lantern Festival.
The New Year is packed full of tradition, with many myths and customs brought to life by those who celebrate the occasion. Fireworks, dancing and decoration are taken to the maximum, but nothing is quite as loved as the food associated with the beginning of the lunar year. There are many traditional foods that are consumed during the fifteen days, all with various meanings and attributes of prosperity. Dumplings are closely associated with wealth, sweet rice balls meaning togetherness of family and Niangao, a type of glutinous cake, eaten in hope of a higher income or promotion.
Noodles have their own symbolism: happiness and longevity. Traditionally, families around the globe will prepare unsevered wheat noodles, their longness being symbolic of the eater's life. They are often much longer than normal noodles for being uncut and served either on a plate if fried, or in a bowl if boiled with a broth of the family's choosing. Amongst dumplings and other great foods, noodles feature prominently in meals celebrating the festival.
Here at Mr Lee's we want t0 honour the traditions of our heritage, whilst innovating and creating our very own. Sure, our noodles might not be the longest, but does size really matter? Surely it's what's on the inside that counts, and we have plenty to offer in that department! We believe noodles can indeed invoke happiness and longevity, and whereas how it does that in the spiritual plane may be questionable to some, good old freeze-dried ingredients, low calories, low sat and certified low sugar certainly make sense to the many.
This year, the year of the dog, we wish you a happy new year! As a way of celebration, we've teamed up with Yee Kwan Icecream to give you a chance to win an oriental feast. The competition is being run on both Instagram and Twitter, so there are in fact two chances to win! In the meantime, you can find us in all the usual places, from the trains, to the planes, to right here on the Mr Lee's Online Shop. Oh, and Ocado from March too.