Dining is an essential part of Chinese culture. Dishes prepared especially for the New Year and other festive celebrations used to serve as various auspicious symbols. In Chinese, fish is pronounced yu, the same as surplus. The round shape of meatballs symbolizes reunion. And as dumplings look like gold ingots, they are intended to signify a new year of riches. New Year's Cake is another must-have, serving as an auspicious symbol for getting to ever-higher ground.Customs may differ from place to place. But all these varieties of New Year's Cake share something in common: they serve as a symbol of people's wishes for a better year ahead.