What to Buy

15 Lunar New Year Picks to Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit

The new year begins on January 22.

January 16, 2023
Photo by James Ransom

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As we quickly approach the Lunar New Year, those who celebrate are preparing for the Year of the Rabbit. The rabbit, last taking the spotlight in 2011, is the fourth sign in the Chinese zodiac, nestled after the rat, ox, and tiger and before the dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The new year, observed by various Asian cultures and communities around the world, is a 15-day celebration steeped in tradition and rooted in togetherness, and this year it kicks off on January 22.

While the celebratory traditions can vary by location and culture, it is common to start off the holiday with a feast filled with symbolic dishes, including a whole fish for abundance, rice cakes to symbolize growth and prosperity, and tangerines to symbolize fortune rolling into your life. Other non-food-related customs can include gifting small red hongbao or lai see envelopes containing money, decluttering and cleaning your home to wash away any bad luck from the previous year (while avoiding cleaning on the first day of the new year, as it’s believed to wash away new good luck), and attending local public celebrations.

In honor of the upcoming holiday, we’ve rounded up 15 picks from AAPI-owned businesses and our Shop to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.

Photo by Our Place

1. Our Place Home Cook Duo, $310 $250

Designed to replace 16 pieces of traditional cookware, Our Place’s cookware duo is a favorite for home cooks everywhere. In celebration of the Lunar New Year, the set is now available in a limited-edition firecracker hue.

Photo by James Ransom

2. Barrel Aged Red Boat Fish Sauce, $38

In a collaboration between BLiS Gourmet and Red Boat Fish Sauce, this premium fish sauce is aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels, giving it a uniquely sweet and smoky taste that complements the natural punchiness of the fish and deepens the umami flavor.

Photo by Omsom

3. Omsom’s Try ‘Em All flavor set, $70 $65

Fill your pantry with various flavors from different Asian cuisines with Omsom’s starter set. Each box features 15 starter sets and includes the sauces, aromatics, and seasonings you need to make one dish (just add the protein and veggies), so you’ll be, well, set.

Photo by Wing On Wo & Co

4. Wing On Wo & Co Gourd Wine Set, $125

Founded in the 1890’s, Wing On Wo & Co is the oldest continuously operated shop in Manhattan’s Chinatown and is a go-to place for home goods, gifts, art, and porcelain. This wine set, created by artist Tomie Arai, includes one gourd wine pourer, four cups, and one hand-carved holding plate.

Photo by Bachan

5. Bachan’s Japanese BBQ Set, $29.67

This Japanese BBQ sauce trio is a must-have for any sauce collection. While it pairs perfectly with many ingredients, it is also a fantastic marinade for your favorite meat, fish, or veggies.

Photo by Umamicart

6. Umamicart x Rice Blossoms Korean Dessert Sampler, $55

This one-of-a-kind gift box features hand-crafted Korean desserts like black sesame dashik cookies and silky smooth yanggaeng bean-paste jellies made in New York City. They arrive frozen, so give them a couple of hours at room temperature to defrost and you’re ready to serve.

Photo by Ty Mecham

7. Fly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, $30+

A staple in Sichuan cuisine, this crunchy and spicy condiment fills countless kitchen shelves and is a well-loved addition to anything from noodles and eggs to even ice cream.

Photo by Rocky Luten

8. Latex-free Cleaning and Dishwashing Gloves, $29

If you need supplies to help with the pre-holiday cleaning, these red latex-free gloves will protect your hands from even the toughest end-of-year scrubbing.

Photo by Blueland

9. Blueland’s Clean Essentials, $59, $39

This environmentally conscious set of cleaning products (that’s right, no single-use plastics!) will help clean up any dirt, messes, and dust before the new year arrives, giving your cleaning routine the refresh you didn’t know it needed.

Photo by Pearl River

10. Lunar New Year Friendship Box, $50

This Year of the Rabbit themed gift box from New York City’s Pearl River is a carefully curated collection of gifts—including items like noisemakers, treats, and a pocket Chinese almanac—to help usher in the new year.

Photo by Ty Mecham

11. Té Company Taiwanese Tea Gift Set, $76+

This giftable bundle includes full-leaf teas sourced from small farmers in Taiwan and is an ideal gift for the tea-lover in your life (or yourself).

Photo by MJ Kroeger

12. Modern Classic Ceramic Ramen Bowl Gift Set, $62.50

Including a ceramic ramen bowl, a matching chopstick rest and spoon, and a pair of chopsticks, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy your favorite ramen dish.

Photo by Pearl River

13. Togetherness Tray Candy Holder, $38.50

Traditionally used during Lunar New Year celebrations to hold candies and other small treats, this tray comes in red or black and is a fantastic gift for anyone hosting this year’s dinner.

Photo by Pearl River

14. Red Envelopes, $3.50+

If your go-to Lunar New Year gift is a monetary one, stock up on these gold-printed red envelopes. Each pack is available in small or large sizes and contains 10 envelopes each.

Photo by Ty Mecham

15. Kinto Sepia Amber Glasses & Mugst, $30+

These amber-hued glasses are an easy choice for drinking hot tea. Made from heat-resistant, microwave-safe, and dishwasher-safe glass, they can’t be beaten.

Do you celebrate Lunar New Year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Julia is a Senior Editor here at Food52 and a freelance writer. She has written for Grub Street, Eater, PUNCH, Edible Brooklyn, and more. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.