People from the north and south have different traditional foods that they eat on this special day.
In Northern China, people usually eat jiaozi (or dumplings), which are shaped like crescent moons. It is said that dumplings were first cooked in China some 1,600 years ago.
The Chinese pronunciation of jiaozi means midnight or the end and the beginning of time.
According to historical records, in ancient times people from both north and south ate dumplings on Chinese New Year's Day.
Perhaps because Southern China produced more rice than any other areas, gradually, southerners had more food choices on New Year's Day.
The shape of jiaozi resembles that of ancient gold and silver ingots or a crescent moon, and symbolizes the hope for a year of plenty.
In some places, people stuff jiaozi with sugar to wish for a sweet life; others put one or two clean coins in jiaozi -- if you happen to come across one with a coin inside, it means you will enjoy good luck in the coming year.
Many families in China prepare enough jiaozi to last several days during the Spring Festival.