A staple of the Chinese New Year celebrations, adopting the practice of eating healthy noodles to bring "longevity" could be a universal benefit.
The exact origin of Chinese New Year is unclear, but is believed to date back around 3,500 years. Chinese New Year is steeped with stories and myths. The most popular is about the mythical beast Nian (/nyen/), who caused havoc on the eve of new year, eating livestock, crops, and even people! To prevent Nian from attacking people and causing destruction, people put food at their doors for Nian.
Legend has it that a wise old man figured out that Nian was scared of loud noises and the colour red. This meant that people put red lanterns and scrolls on their windows and doors to stop Nian from coming inside. Crackling bamboo was lit to scare the beast away (now firecrackers are widely used)
Chinese New Year, also known as chunjie (春节) or Spring Festival, is a tradition steeped in history. In 2020, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 25th of January. Being dependent on the lunar calendar, the date of Chinese New Year changes, it always starts with a new moon and within half a month of the ‘start of spring’, which is on February 4th. This important date is celebrated all over the world and is the most important holiday in China.
The longest Chinese holiday, New Year celebrations last fifteen to sixteen days, if you include Lunar New Year’s Eve. A crucial part of the festival is the New Year’s Eve Dinner, where family are expected to come together. This causes mass migration called chunyun (春运).
The Chinese see food as symbolic and throughout the two-week festival there are many lucky foods served in celebration. These include noodles. Finecooking.com website says: ‘Noodle dishes are a staple of the Chinese New Year Celebration’, this is because long noodles promise longevity.
Instant noodles are an iconic consumer product in China and have recently gained a resurgence in popularity. According to the South China Morning Post, consumption started to fall after 2014 and in 2016 sales slipped to 38.5 billion servings (mainland China and Hong Kong), this was due to cheap takeaway meals being heavily subsidised by food delivery start-ups. However, in 2018, the figure rose to 40 billion servings, more than 38.8 per cent of global sales, and that figure is expected to keep rising.
When it comes to noodles, Mr Lee’s understand the importance of tradition. Damien Lee, the founder of Mr Lee’s is half-Singaporean and half-Australian, his goal was to revolutionise the instant noodle market without losing the authenticity of the flavours. As a result, the award-winning Mr Lee’s Noodles continually push boundaries, providing a perfect balance between health and taste, convenience without compromise. The highest quality ingredients, combined with rice noodles from Vietnam, skilfully blended with vibrant spices to create the best tasting, most distinct instant noodle in the market.
Commenting on how to keep the authenticity of flavour in every cup of noodles, Damien Lee, CEO and Founder says, “We make our product differently. We make ourselves a fresh bowl of for example Hong Kong Street Beef, and then the challenge we give ourselves is to take that fresh bowl of noodles and make it look and taste the same when we put it into an ambient cup. We individually dose every single ingredient, so that every experience of a Mr Lee’s cup will always be the same... on the next one, and the next one… and the next one”. Watch here.
Whether you are part of the 20% of the world that celebrates Chinese New Year or not, adopting the practice of healthy, yet authentic noodles to bring longevity seems like it could be a fantastic idea for everyone! Start your own celebration, with a choice of lip-tingling flavours to suit everyone