By Yeping Zhu, contributing writer
I wrote about four traditional festivals in China and what food people eat to celebrate. During Chinese New Year, people eat dumplings and fish, and during the Qingming Festival, people bring fruits and desserts to the tombs to commemorate the people in their family who passed away. During the Dragon boat festival, people eat rice dumplings(zongzi), and during the Mid-autumn festival, people eat mooncakes and a lot of fruits. I also talk about the meaning behind the foods.
If you live in the United States, you must have eaten some American Chinese food more or less: dumplings, Zuozong chicken, wonton, ramen, fried rice, and so on. But did you know — People eat different delicacies at different festivals in China.
Open the lunar calendar and you can see many traditional Chinese festivals. The biggest festival is the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. The Spring Festival represents the beginning of the spring of the year, so it is named after it. The Spring Festival is usually from the end of January to a certain day in February. The eve of the Spring Festival is called New Year’s Eve, and the dinner on New Year’s Eve is also called New Year’s Eve Dinner. It is very important and very grand. Most people will prepare for this dinner for many days. Dumplings are essential for New Year’s Eve Dinner. In southern China, people don’t eat much flour, so they don’t eat dumplings and replace them with rice cakes. In addition to dumplings, fish is also essential. Because Yu and Yu are homophonic, it means that every year is more than one year, and I hope that the new year will be a year of abundance.
Qingming Festival is a spring festival. This festival is also a festival for people to sacrifice and remember their ancestors. There is no special food for this holiday, but people will buy a lot of fruits and pastries to visit their deceased family members in the cemetery. Because this holiday is in spring, many people will also take this opportunity to go on an outing with family and friends to feel the warmth of spring and nature.
The traditional festival in summer is the Dragon Boat Festival. During the Dragon Boat Festival, people eat Zongzi. Northerners like to eat sweet Zongzi, and southerners like salty Zongzi. Dried fruits or bean paste are generally placed in sweet Zongzi, and meat or salted egg yolk are generally placed in salty Zongzi.
The important festival in autumn is the Mid-Autumn Festival. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, people must eat mooncakes. Mooncakes represent the moon, so mooncakes have a complete egg yolk in them. In addition to mooncakes, people also eat a lot of fruits, especially grapefruit. Yuzu means to bless children.
Every traditional festival is the inheritance of Chinese people’s own culture. For the colorful food world, these traditional foods may no longer be the most delicious, but they represent a lot of good hopes. If you have the opportunity to live in China, you will definitely not want to miss these traditional festivals and delicacies.