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Lunar New Year is like New Year’s Eve for foodies, but with even more delicious dumplings. It’s a time-honored tradition in Asian cultures, where families gather together to feast, exchange red envelopes filled with money, and set off firecrackers to scare away evil spirits. It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in all your favorite Asian delicacies and start the new year off with a full belly and a happy heart.

And unlike Western New Year’s, you have more than one night to ring it in. How many days and nights strictly depends on the culture, and some observances are longer than others. It’s based on the moon’s 12 phases, each of which lasts for about 29 days. So in China, Lunar New Year lasts from the new moon to the next full moon, which means in 2023, the holiday is celebrated from Sunday, Jan. 23 to Sunday, Feb. 5.—and Denver has some delicious ways to celebrate it. 

Enjoying hand-wrapped dumplings is a time-honored tradition in Asian cultures, especially during the Lunar New Year. Get in on the action with easy take-home cooking kits from META Asian Kitchen (MAK) in Avanti Food & Beverage, available in three options: chicken and chive dumplings, chicken and shrimp wontons, and pork and shiitake mushroom dim sum-style siu mai kits. 

Each $38 kit comes with 20 dumplings, wontons, or siu mai, and a choice of three sauces (Uncle Tony’s chili oil, dumpling sauce, or MAK’s XO chili sauce). They are available for sale on META’s website starting Thursday, Jan. 12, and running through the Jan. 19. Pickups run from Friday, Jan. 20, through the start of the Lunar New Year on Sunday, Jan. 23. 

And if you’re looking to get a jump on celebrating the Lunar New Year, get a taste of MAK’s new chicken and shrimp wonton soup. Trust me, one spoonful of this thick and creamy house-made broth is all it’ll take for you to be hooked all winter long. It’s like the perfect antidote to whatever ails you, which around here this time of year could be covid, could be a cold, or could be good ole SAD (that’s seasonal depressive disorder for those of you lucky enough not to rely on copious hours of sunshine to lighten up your mood, what’s that like?). 

Anyway, back to the point: The coming Lunar New Year marks the end of the Year of the Tiger and kicks off the Year of the Rabbit, which is known for being a time of peace, calm, and harmony. The rabbit is known for being gentle and tactful, which makes it a year of good fortune and prosperity. It also means it’s the perfect time to take a step back and appreciate the simple things in life, like family, friends, and good food. So, let’s raise a dumpling (or a soup spoon) in honor of the Year of the Rabbit and cheers to a year filled with good luck, good food, and great company.

Looking for more ways to celebrate? Check out our dining event calendar for January 2023 for some delectable options.


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