Filipinos fete Year of Rabbit with golden cakes

Entrepreneur Angelito Araneta Jr. wraps a rabbit-shaped sweet rice cake, locally known as Tikoy, with a 24-carat edible gold leaf before encrusting with a 0.2-carat diamond Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 at his home in Manila, Philippines. The gold and diamond encrusted sweet rice cake sells for 21,500 pesos ($485) and is one of 13 ordered by rich Chinese customers for the celebration of the lunar new year, the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese calendar. Araneta Jr. said one customer he catered, ordered for a two-diamond gold encrusted rice cake which is priced for 120,000 pesos ($2,710), his most expensive so far. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

February 4, 2011 12:32:42 AM PST
Wealthy Chinese-Filipinos are snapping up rice cakes decorated with gold and diamonds to celebrate the Lunar New Year in hopes of attracting good luck in the Year of the Rabbit. The rabbit-shaped glutinous rice cakes sell for between $500 and $2,700 and are covered with 24-carat gold foil and a few small diamonds.

The creator of the custom-baked sweets, Angelito Araneta Jr., says they are meant to attract wealth as well as secure good ties with friends and kin.

Chinese-Filipinos traditionally share glutinous rice cakes with family and friends to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which falls on Thursday this year.