Panda Express: Celebrate Chinese New Year

Millions of people around the world are celebrating Chinese New Year today. Adrian Lok from Panda Express was here and he is showing us how they make firecracker chicken.

Check out the full video demo HERE with Panda Express on our FOX 11 YouTube Channel.

What is Chinese New Year?

  • Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated holidays in China and for Chinese Americans
  • It is a time to reunite with those you consider family and participate in traditions that prepare you for happiness and good fortune in the new year.
  • People from all cultural backgrounds can celebrate and embrace this holiday because it celebrates family and a new beginning. Panda is excited to bring a taste of the holiday to our guests.

What significance does food play during Chinese New Year?

  • Food is an important part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Family and friends typically gather for a huge feast to kicks off the holiday.
  • Many of the dishes served during Chinese New Year have symbolic meanings including many of the ones Panda offer at our restaurants:
  • Egg rolls or spring rolls are a symbol of wealth – their shape resemble gold bars
  • The long uncut noodles in Chow Mein symbolize long life.
  • Mixed vegetables represent family togetherness and symbolizes the harmony in the family.
  • Orange Chicken: Not only is the golden orange color symbolic of good fortune, chicken, which is traditionally served whole, represents togetherness of the family.
  • We have also brought back a guest favorite, Firecracker Chicken Breast. It's named Firecracker Chicken Breast because not only are firecrackers traditionally used to scare off evil spirits, but the dish has chili for an extra kick.
  • All of which are available for pick up in store, over the phone, through Panda's online ordering or mobile app so you can quickly pick up your celebration meal.

Why is Chinese New Year important to Panda Express?

  • As America's largest family-owned, Chinese American restaurant company, Panda Express excited share part of our cultural heritage with our guests and community. Besides our food, Panda has created resources online through our website at, for our guests to learn more about Chinese New Year.
  • Free Learn with Me curriculum kit for elementary students to learn the cultural significance of Chinese New Year
  • Interactive Chinese Zodiac game to learn about the 12 traditional animal signs that make up the Chinese Zodiac
  • Panda Express Pinterest boards where guests can learn how to throw their own Chinese New Year celebration with suggestions for menu ideas, décor, activities and more.
  • Digital red envelope for guests to send good fortune and well wishes to loved ones.

Is Panda doing anything special on Chinese New Year day?

  • Yes. Panda is hosting a Celebration Day on February 19th and would like to wish all our guests good fortune for Chinese New Year.
  • Guests can enjoy a free eggroll, which resembles a gold bar and symbolizes wealth and prosperity by downloading a coupon on our web site starting February 12th.
  • How else do people prepare for CNY?
  • Homes are cleaned up before the New Year to symbolize the sweeping away of bad spirits and a fresh start for the New Year.
  • Homes are decorated with fresh flowers to mark hope of what the New Year and season will bring.
  • Paper decorations written with good wishes are placed around the house.

What are some other Chinese New Year traditions?

  • Elders and married couples give red envelopes, also called "hong bao," filled with money to young and unmarried children. This offering represents a wish of prosperity for the New Year.
  • Lions are considered protectors in the Chinese Culture. During this time, lion dancing is performed to whisk away any bad spirits and bring prosperity for the town.
  • "Gong Xi Fa Cai" means wishing you happiness and prosperity
  • "Xin Nian Kuai Le" means Happy New Year.

Why is this the year of the ram?

  • The ram is one of 12 animals that make up the Chinese Zodiac. Each animal represents a year in the 12 year cycle.
  • People are believed to share the same qualities as the Zodiac animal of their birth year.
  • 2015 is the year of the ram. If you are born in the year of the Ram, you are a person who is creative, calm and caring.

About Panda Express

Panda Express, America's favorite Chinese restaurant, is best known for its wide variety of original recipes including its famous Orange Chicken, SweetFire Chicken Breast®, award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp™ and Shanghai Angus Steak™.

Founded in 1983 and now with close to 1,800 locations throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, Mexico, Dubai and Korea, Panda Express is part of the family owned and operated Panda Restaurant Group, the world leader in Asian dining experiences that also includes Panda Inn and Hibachi-San.

For more information, visit, or become a fan on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

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