Google celebrates the Malaysian tradition of Yee Sang with a Doodle, explaining the meaning and origin of the Chinese New Year custom.
The Doodle GIF depicts the typical bright and colourful plate of Yee Sang and accompanying toppings and sauces, which then gets tossed using chopsticks.
“With chopsticks in hand, families toss the ingredients that make up Yee Sang high above the table while they exclaim ‘Lou Hei’ and wish each other good fortune for the year to come – the higher the toss, the better the fortune!” it said, on the Doodle Archive.
It added that the ritual traced its origins to the Chinese creation myth of goddess Nu Wa, who is said to have created humanity on the seventh day of the new year. This falls on Thursday (Feb 18), this year.
“Chinese fishers and sailors commemorated this symbolic day of rebirth by combining the leftovers of the new year’s celebrations to make yu sheng – a salad as thrifty as it was tasty. By the 1930’s, Chinese immigrants brought the Yu Sheng tradition to Malaya, selling fish salad with ginger and lettuce out of hawker carts,” it explained.
Google said the local connection was cemented in the 1940’s, when Seremban chef Loke Ching Fatta updated the recipe with some 30 ingredients together with his signature sauce, making it the dish known to – and beloved by – many today.
Typical ingredients include items like raw fish, ginger, shredded carrot, radish, pomelo, and leek, topped with condiments like crushed peanuts, all mixed thoroughly with several different oils and spices.
“But there is no wrong way to make Yee Sang, as the dish has infinite variations. Here’s to Yee Sang and prosperity in the Lunar New Year!” assured Google.
Curiously, the Doodle is only available in Malaysia and Sweden.