Chinese New Year isn’t really Chinese New Year without receiving (and giving) ang pows, being grilled by relatives on our possibly non-existent love lives, and of course, yu sheng.
Every year during Chinese New Year, you’d notice that most restaurants would offer up yu sheng before the start of your meal. The waiter/waitress assigned to your table will then proceed to say some auspicious stuff as he/she adds each ingredient into the yu sheng. But if you’re hosting a CNY gathering in your home and would like to lo hei, here’s how to do it!
What is yu sheng/lo hei?
Lo hei (also known as yu sheng) in Cantonese literally translates to “tossing up good fortune”
It is a Chinese New Year tradition that involves tossing julienned vegetables, raw fish and crackers as high as possible while reciting a series of auspicious sayings.
What’s the purpose of lo hei-ing?
You may wonder: what is the purpose of flinging around vegetables during the Lunar New Year with your chopsticks?
It is believed that the act of tossing the ingredients is a symbolism of tossing up good fortune and the higher you fling them, the better your prospects and fortune in the year ahead.
Process of lo hei-ing (step-by-step guide):
Step 1: Offer new year greetings to everyone around the table
Greeting: 恭喜发财 gōng xǐ fā cái
Meaning: May you have abundance wealth
Greeting: 万事如意 wàn shì rú yì
Meaning: May all your hopes be fulfilled
Step 2: Add raw fish (usually salmon but abalone works too)
Greeting: 年年有馀 nián nián yǒu yú
Meaning: May every year be filled with abundance
Step 3: Squeeze lime juice over the fish or add pomelo shreds
Greeting: 大吉大利 dà jí dà lì
Meaning: Wishing you good luck and prosperity
Step 4: Sprinkle pepper and other seasoning
Greeting: 招财进宝 zhāo cái jìn bǎo
Meaning: May you attract wealth and treasures
Step 5: Drizzle oil in a circular motion
Greeting: 一本万利 yī běn wàn lì
Meaning: May your investment return 10,000 times in profit
Greeting: 财原广进 cái yuán guǎng jìn
Meaning: May money pour in from all directions
Step 6: Toss in shredded carrots
Greeting: 鸿运当头 hóng yùn dāng tóu
Meaning: Good fortune is approaching
Step 7: Add green radish
Greeting: 青春常驻 qīng chūn yǒng zhù
Meaning: May you stay your forever young
Step 8: Add shredded white radish
Greeting: 风生水起 fēng shēng shuǐ qǐ
Meaning: May you progress and reach greater heights
Greeting: 步步高升 bù bù gāo shēng
Meaning: Wishing you success at work
Step 9: Scatter ground peanuts
Greeting: 金银满屋 jīn yín mǎn wū
Meaning: May your home be filled with gold and silver
Step 10: Sprinkle sesame seeds
Greeting: 生意兴隆 shēng yì xīng lóng
Meaning: May your business prosper
Step 11: Add deep-fried pillow golden crackers
Greeting: 遍地黄金 biàn dì huáng jīn
Meaning: May the ground you step upon be carpeted with gold
Step 12: Pour plum sauce in a circular motion
Greeting: 甜甜蜜蜜 tián tián mì mì
Meaning: May your life be filled with sweetness
Step 13: Toss the yu sheng 7 times while blurting out whatever auspicious Chinese New Wishes that comes to mind.
If you need some ideas for what to say as you lo lei, check out 30 Cool Chinese New Year Greetings To Say Instead Of ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ in 2019. Remember, the higher you toss, the more prosperous your year will be!
We hope this guide has been useful to you. Have a great time making a mess and tossing up some great fun this CNY with your friends and family! Don’t miss out on Grab promo codes to enjoy a discount for your ride when you travel from one CNY visitation to the next.
*Featured Image Credit: ShopBack