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Yu Sheng - Uniquely Asian Way of Tossing Up Good Fortune.

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

It is under twelve days to the Chinese New Year on 25 January 2020. In most things Chinese, the new year offers hopes and dreams of success and prosperity. We get around putting up everything and doing anything possible to start the year right. In this respect, food plays a vital role, and it must be quality food that homonyms with good life and good fortune.

In a special way, there is a practice that is unique only to this part of the world but spreading fast to other Chinese communities. This is the communal tossing of a dish known as Yu-Sheng(鱼生), a salad of raw vegetables and fish mixed with sauces, spices and nuts, loosely translated as 'Toss to the Rise of Good Fortune'. This tradition is sometimes known as 'Lo Hei' (捞起) a cantonese term saying 'To Rouse It Up'.

Taken throughout the Chinese New Year season which lasts fifteen days between 25 January 2020 and 8 February 2020, it takes pole position when it comes to rituals of welcoming wealth.

The ingredients, colours, sauces, condiments as well as the act of tossing the dish together as a family and friends add up to create a bond that is unmatched in auspiciousness. The fun includes steps to mix the contents and the verbalisation of auspicious meaning to each supplement. The higher you toss, the more abundance and high-flying shall be the fortunes that will be endowed upon the participants.

1. Arrange the slices of raw fish and/or abalone and proclaim :

'Nian Nian You Yu' (年年有鱼)meaning Abundance of Wealth and Prosperity to All

2. Squeeze the lime over the raw slices and say :

'Da Ji Da Li' (大吉大利)meaning May much Luck layer over Good Fortune

3. Scatter the pepper and five spices powder to signify :

'Zhao Cai Jin Bao' (招财进宝)meaning Attracting Wealth and pulling in Treasures

4. Drizzle the oil in a circular motion over the dish and mention :

'Cai Yuan Guang Jin' (财源广进)| 'Yi Ben Wan Li' (一本万利)meaning

Wealth to arrive from all directions and profits to increase 10,000 folds

5. Spread the carrots over and express :

'Hong Yun Tang Tou' (鸿运当头)meaning Imminent Good Luck

6. Add the shredded green coloured radish and with it :

'Qing Chun Chang Zhu' (青春常驻)meaning Eternal Youth to Everyone

7. Next comes the white radish and proclaim :

'Feng Sheng Shui Qi' (风声水起)| 'Bu Bu Gao Sheng'(步步高升)meaning

Prosperity to your Business and Promotions at Work and Studies

8. Sprinkle the grounded peanuts and express :

'Jin Yin Man Wu' (金银满屋)meaning Let there be Gold and Silver at Home

9. Add the sesame seeds to mark :

'Sheng Yi Xing Long'(生意兴隆)meaning May your Business Flourish

10. Scatter the golden crackers to state :

'Bian Di Huang Jin' (遍地黄金)meaning Let there be Gold wherever you step upon

11. Pour the sweet plum sauce over to state :

'Tian Tian Mi-Mi' (甜甜蜜蜜)meaning Sweet and Loving Relationships

Get your pair of chopsticks ready, shout 'Huat Ah' meaning To Prosperity !

and Toss Away !


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