5 Traditional Vegan Treats To Fill Up Your Chinese New Year Candy Box

3 Mins Read

The Year of the Rat is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to take out your Chinese candy boxes out from your cupboards and fill them up with delicious goodies. While we are big fans of the tradition, many of the sweet treats that you’ll find aren’t exactly vegan-friendly. So if you’re wondering what to put in your “tray of togetherness” this year, we’re here to help with these 5 Chinese snacks that are totally plant-based!

1. Melon Seeds (Gua zi)

Source: CNY

Melon seeds are traditionally enjoyed during the Lunar New Year because they symbolise abundance and wealth! Not only do they supposedly bring in prosperity, these perfectly snackable (and addictive) black and red seeds are super healthy too – they are super rich in iron, magnesium and folate. 

2. Pistachios (Hoi sum guo)

Source: Pinterest

Pistachios are another completely healthy vegan whole food snack that Chinese families dig into during the Spring Festival. As some of you may know, these delicious nuts are called hoi sum guo in Chinese, which literally translates to “happy nuts.” So make sure to fill your boxes up with some pistachios to spread the joy. 

3. Candied Ginger (Geung tong)

Source: Foodal

Crystallised ginger or candied ginger is a much-loved traditional Chinese snack. Though enjoyed year-round, these feature in many candy trays because ginger is considered a very healthy food that will bring about longevity in Chinese culture. You can either make your own version at home or find them in most market stalls and Chinese supermarkets. 

4. Mandarins (Gam

Source: Pinterest

Of course, mandarins are an iconic fruit that appears every year during the Spring festivities. This is mainly because the Chinese word for mandarins – gam or gum – sounds just like gold, so this mini auspicious fruit is thought to represent good wealth and fortune. Plus, these are so delicious and so healthy!

5. Packaging-Free Vegan Gummies & Chocolate Buttons

Source: Conscious Chocolate Company

We know that most modern Chinese candy boxes are now filled with chocolate coins and gummy candies, so complete your box with some vegan-friendly sweet alternatives. We propose vegan dark chocolate buttons to replace the chocolate coins, and gelatin-free gummies – both of which can be found in the city’s zero-waste bulk food stores. Plus, they come packaging-free so you don’t have to worry about the pesky pile of disposable waste that conventional versions come with.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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