Auspicious Chinese sayings for lo hei at every step

PHOTO: Facebook/RasaSayangFood

Let’s get real: The fun part about eating yusheng is the prosperity toss, or what we call lo hei. That’s when we gather round the table with our loved ones and have a hand in preparing our food by adding and tossing the ingredients of yusheng while uttering well wishes for one another – all in the name of being auspicious.

However, more often than not, we find ourselves stumped by what to say, with the addition of each ingredient. Did you know that there are at least 16 traditional auspicious sayings for lo hei, besides “huat ah!”?

Here’s the definitive guide to what to say at each step.

1. Arrange raw fish slices: Nian nian you yu

Meaning: Prosperity every year!

2. Add dried orange peel: Da ji da li

Meaning: Good luck and prosperity!

3. Add pepper and seasoning powders: Zhao cai jin bao

Meaning: Incoming wealth!

4. Drizzle oil: Yi ben wan li

Meaning: May you make a thousand-fold profit from your investment!

5. Drizzle oil: Cai yuan guang jin

Meaning: May money pour in from all directions!

6. Add carrots: Hong yun dang tou

Meaning: May opportunity strike you!

7. Add green radish: Qing chun chang zhu

Meaning: Stay young forever!

8. Add white radish: Bu bu gao sheng

Meaning: May you rise higher with each step!

9. Add cabbage: Feng sheng shui qi

Meaning: May you have success and promotion at work!

10. Sprinkle chopped peanuts: Jing yin man wu

Meaning: May your house be full of gold and silver!

11. Sprinkle sesame seeds: Sheng yi xing long

Meaning: Prosperity for your business!

12. Scatter crackers (golden pillows): Man di huang jing

Meaning: May your floor be splashed full of gold!

13. Pour plum sauce: Tian tian mi mi

Meaning: May your life be sweet!

14. Toss yusheng: Wan shi ru yi

Meaning: May everything be good and smooth!
Say this: As you start to toss the Yu sheng.

15. Toss yusheng: Sheng ti jian kang

Meaning: May your body stay strong and healthy!

16. Toss yusheng: Gong xi fa cai

Meaning: Wishing everyone great wealth!

This article was first published in The Singapore Women’s Weekly.