There’s no denying the centuries-long ties the Philippines has with China. Just the fact that the world’s oldest Chinatown (established in 1594) can be found in the country is testament to this. But it’s not just the establishments that show this connection—it’s also evident in how cultures and practices have become interwoven with each other even to this day.
One such practice is the celebration of the Lunar New Year. With the large numbers of Chinese and Chinese-Filipinos in the country, it has become one of the major annual celebrations celebrated by majority of the population. Businesses have also long since adapted to this, including the Lunar New Year as one of their key events and celebrations.
It is common to see businesses make special offerings in time for the Lunar New Year, often involving what the Chinese consider as traditional lucky foods like dumplings, spring rolls, fortune fruits, noodles, and the ubiquitous niangao (glutinous rice cakes), or as they are more popularly known in the country, tikoy. But in recent years, local businesses have begun to incorporate other practices, inspired by celebrations in Chinese communities all over Asia.
Resorts World Manila (RWM), for example, celebrates the Chinese New Year with a Yee Sang Prosperity Toss. The prosperity toss was made popular in the ’60s, originating in Southeast Asia as a way for “foreigners” such as Indians and Malaysians to take part in Chinese New Year celebrations. The prosperity toss began in Singapore, where there is a mix of nationalities.
Yee sang is essentially a salad, made of raw vegetables and fruits that are carefully prepared, along with raw fish, sauces, and spices. Each ingredient in the yee sang is said to symbolize good luck, wealth, progress, and prosperity.
But it doesn’t end with just putting the salad together. What makes yee sang a tradition is the prosperity toss, which involves a step-by-step preparation of the salad starting from putting together its ingredients down to adding the dressing. After which, those at the table must stand and toss the yee sang high while shouting their wishes and Chinese New Year greetings.
RWM’s Yee Sang Prosperity Toss is available at the Newport Mall Prosperity Fair until Jan. 26. Enjoy a plate for only P88.
To culminate the Lunar New Year celebrations, RWM will have a by-invitation gala dinner at the Marriott Grand Ballroom on Feb. 15. Other sumptuous dining offers for the Lunar New Year are available for the whole month of February, such as Victoria Harbour Café’s Asian Cold Cuts Platter at P450 nett and Impressions’ Hotpot starting at P1,200 nett for two daily.
Visit www.rwmanila.com for more details.
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