The Fascinating Meanings Behind The Names Of Popular CNY Cookies

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2016 has started for a couple of weeks, and it’s that time of the year again – where night markets selling CNY goodies are set up and bustling with business and Chinatown is, once again, bustling with festivities. We all love Chinese New Year, especially with the super long weekend this year, and of course, the fact that it gives us health-conscious people a legitimate reason to go all out for this festive period. We all have our favorite goodies, but do you know the fascinating meanings behind each of them?

Here are the fascinating meanings behind popular CNY cookies, and some of the stories might just fascinate you enough that you won’t be able to look at these goodies in the same light again.

Pineapple Tarts

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This should come as a no-brainer, looking at the amount of pineapples that feature prominently in many places during Chinese New Year. Pineapple is also known as “Ong-Lai” in dialect (Hokkien), and also means “fortune, come”. Pineapple tarts is believed to bring good luck and fortune for the new year when eaten and served in homes. It also doesn’t hurt that they taste so good, right?

Bak Kwa

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It’s red, which is a lucky color, and it’s believed to signify a “robust future” as well. So when you get bak kwa or serve bak kwa to others, you want them to have a great, lucky and robust year ahead! So, even if you’re health conscious, be sure to nibble on one or two of this sinful, delectable and savory meat before calling it a day.

Love Letters

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Other than the fact that these love letters were used to hide messages exchanged between secret lovers (hence the name) because the “letter” can be eaten and there won’t be evidence of any messages whatsoever. Cool eh? Next time, before you eat these love letters, check inside to see if there’s any messages meant for you.

Kuih Bangkit


These melt-in-your-mouth cookies are hard to get right, but when it’s gotten right, it just tastes so amazing, doesn’t it? It’s said that cookie symbolizes a sweet beginning to your new year. Whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t really matter because who can tahan not having these delectable cookies for Chinese New Year?

Traditional Peanut Cookies

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Peanuts, also known as 花生 in Mandarin, symbolizes longevity and health. The 生 means life, and when you serve this in your home, it means you’re wishing the person a good long life ahead of him or her.

Cashew nut cookies

Shaped like the gold ingots of ancient Chinese history, this cookie is said to symbolize fortune and wealthy when eaten during Chinese New Year.

Now that you’ve seen our list of fascinating meanings of CNY cookies, is there anything you feel that we’ve missed out? Let us know!

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