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Lunar New Year is a vibrant festival celebrating the coming of spring and the beginning of the lunisolar calendar that is observed in many Asian cultures and communities around the world. Symbolizing the passage from winter into spring, the holiday is rooted in traditions that purge the old to make way for the new prosperous year ahead. 

The Lunar New Year festive season is not only about vibrant lanterns and parades, but it is also a time to enjoy a feast of carefully chosen foods that promise good fortune for the coming year. Below we dive into the symbolism behind ten of Lunar New Year’s luckiest foods, each carrying hope to deliciously usher in the blessings of the new year. 

Lunar New Year, a major holiday in China, South Korea, Vietnam, and other countries across the world, is an annual 15-day festival celebrating the arrival of spring and the beginning of the lunisolar calendar. Also referred to as Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, and other country-specific titles, at Bon Appétit we recognize the festival is honored by various cultures — each with their own rituals, foods, histories, and nuances — and use the term Lunar New Year to be inclusive of all who observe this rich holiday.  

Tucked away on the edge of campus, over a bridge and beside the athletic fields, lies The Farm at Butler, a gem within Butler University in Indianapolis, IN.  Just shy of one acre, this agricultural oasis is a clear example of how urban farming can transform previously dormant land into a thriving ecosystem and classroom.  

What do avocado skins and seeds, onion skins, and beet trimmings have in common – besides being candidates for the compost pile? These scraps can all be used in plant-based dyes, and using them not only reduces food waste, it reminds us of what’s possible when we practice creative reuse and extend sustainable practices from the kitchen out into the other parts of our lives.

At Bon Appétit Management Company, food waste is our foe. The 40% of food that goes unsold or uneaten in the United States is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s more than that.

On the rise across the country since the mid-2000’s, food hubs are one solution to common barriers to getting local food into restaurants and difficult-to-access institutional markets. With a keen focus on selling to anchor institutions (long-term fixtures in communities, such as universities, hospitals, and school systems, that play vital roles in the local economy), food hubs coordinate the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of locally and regionally produced foods from a network of responsible producers.

For Native American Heritage Month, Bon Appétit is partnering with Golden Eagle Farm, owned and operated by the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians. Golden Eagle is an ambitious endeavor balancing traditional Indigenous farming methods and new revenue generators such as agri-tourism.