In addition to the aforementioned foods, a tray of togetherness is filled with a selection of dried and candied fruits and vegetables like winter melon, lotus root, kumquats, and coconut shreds or chunks which symbolize good health, abundance. The Cantonese are partial to pistachios, whose name translates into “happy fruit” while the Taiwanese are content with peanuts (via OFTaiwan). The nut presence is a way of inviting more good wishes for the new year ahead, in case there isn’t enough luck already.
There is a limited range of options available for those who want to channel a bit of luck but who also think having dyed snacks along with candied fruit and vegetables could be a tough sell. Brands like Almond Roca and Ferrero Rocher now appear in traditional candy boxes because they come wrapped in gold foil, which can also be viewed as a symbol of wealth. “I believe these modern adaptations are more attractive to the younger generations and foreigners. It encourages those who don’t know much about the traditions of cyun hap to understand the meanings of Lunar New Year,” Gloria Chan, a spokesperson with the Hong Kong Culture Heritage Studies and Promotion Association tells CNN.