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Celebrating Lunar New Year: Frisco Chinese restaurant cooks up a feast

Owner of Zhao Star China Bistro shares her culture's traditions when celebrating the Lunar New Year.

FRISCO, Texas — The Lunar New Year is celebrated by Asian cultures across the world.

In Frisco, Texas, a local restaurant owner who immigrated from Xi'an, China in 1999 continues her family's traditions in America.

"This dinner is very, very important," said Grace Zhao, owner of Zhao Star China Bistro. It's arguably the most important meal of the year.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many celebrations were cancelled in 2020, and continued to be limited in 2021. However, Zhao said it's still important to put a full meal on the table for Chinese New Year's Eve.

Here are some of her family's must-haves:

- Candy for luck
- Seeds for growth
- Oranges for happiness and wealth
- Dumplings for wealth
- Bok choy for wealth
- Noodles for longevity
- Shrimp for prosperity
- Whole fish for abundance and family unity
- Whole duck for luck
- Whole chicken for togetherness and rebirth

"We are very proud of our culture because that's a long history," Zhao said. "Don't forget that."

She wishes all her customers and neighbors a happy, prosperous, healthy and peaceful year of the ox.