Friday, January 27, 2017

"Yu Sheng" - What to Say When You Lo Hei

Chinese New Year is a great time to put away your diet plans and feast upon the festive goodies. Now, if you are familiar with the local Chinese customs, it is most likely that you have came across this rainbow-coloured dish, which is also known as Yu Sheng (鱼生), or better recognised as Prosperity Toss - Lo Hei (捞起) for the Cantonese. If you would have noticed, people usually recite certain Chinese phrases and sayings while they are adding and tossing the ingredients together.

So which phrases are associated with which ingredients? Let's check it out!



The ingredients are to mix in a particular order.

Ingredient #1: Raw Fish (生鱼, Sheng Yu)
Phrase: 年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu)
Meaning: "Abundance throughout the year"

Ingredient #2: Pomelo (柚子, You Zi)
Phrase: 大吉大利 (Da Ji Da Li)
Meaning: "Good luck and smooth sailing"

Ingredient #3: Pepper (胡椒粉, Hu Jiao Fen)
Phrase: 招财进宝 (Zhao Cai Jin Bao)
Meaning: "Attract wealth and treasures"

Ingredient #4: Oil (油, You)
Phrase: 一本万利 (Yi Ben Wan Li) and 财源广进 (Cai Yuan Guang Jin)
Meaning: "Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital" and "Numerous sources of wealth"

Ingredient #5: Carrot (红萝卜, Hong Luo Bo)
Phrase: 鸿运当头 (Hong Yun Dang Tou)
Meaning: "Good luck is approaching"

Ingredient #6: Green Radish (青萝卜, Qing Luo Bo)
Phrase: 青春常驻 (Qing Chun Chang Zhu)
Meaning: "Eternal youth"

Ingredient #7: White Radish (白萝卜, Bai Luo Bo)
Phrase: 步步高升 (Bu Bu Gao Sheng) and 风生水起 (Feng Sheng Shui Qi)
Meaning: "Reaching higher levels with each step" and "Progress at a fast pace"

Ingredient #8: Peanuts Crumbs (花生粉, Hua Sheng Fen)
Phrase: 金银满屋 (Jin Yin Man Wu)
Meaning: “Household filled with gold and silver”

Ingredient #9: Sesame seeds (芝麻, Zhi Ma)
Phrase: 生意兴隆 (Sheng Yi Xing Long)
Meaning: “Prosperity for the business”

Ingredient #10: Golden crackers (薄脆饼干, Bo Cui Bing Gan)
Phrase: 满地黄金 (Man Di Huang Jin)
Meaning: “Floor full of gold”

Ingredient #11: Plum sauce (酸梅酱, Suan Mei Jiang)
Phrase: 甜甜蜜蜜 (Tian Tian Mi Mi)
Meaning: “Sweet and loving relationships”

After all the ingredients are added, toss all the ingredients together 7 times with shouts of Lo Hei (捞起) and other auspicious wishes. The ingredients should be mixed by pushing them towards the centre to encourage the pushing of good luck onto the table. It is also believed that the louder your shouts are and the higher you toss, the greater your fortunes will be.

Now that you understand the meaning and what to say during Lo Hei, may you not be so ever lost.

Happy New Year!