Food Customs in Wuhan Spring Festival

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Food Customs in Wuhan Spring Festival

The last day of lunar year, named guonian, is the most important festival for Wuhan citizens. On this day, all family members will get together for a sumptuous family reunion dinner. This dinner is consisted of three wholeness (whole chicken, whole fish and whole duck), three cakes (fish cake, meat cake and new-year cake) and three balls (fish ball, meat ball and lotus ball). Recently a chaffing dish is added to the dinner and its hotness enhances the festival atmosphere. This dinner usually begins before dark falls, but some families tend to have it at night. Before the dinner, some traditional families will worship ancestors and place additional bowls and chopsticks for ancestors. It is until the end of this ritual that family members can take seat. Fish dish is not allowed to eat because it symbolizes wealth of the next year.

The fifteenth day of the first lunar month is Lantern Festival, in which every family fries spring rolls. On this night, people prepare tangyuan (glutinous rice flour balls in soup) with glutinous rice flour and sweetened bean paste, wishing that everything goes well in the New Year. During Spring Festival, people also eat sugar-fried new-year cakes which symbolize the sweet and high-quality of life.

On March 3rd of lunar year, Wuhan citizens often take a spring outing to heart’s content. They boil eggs with Dimicai ?C a kind of local wild vegetable, picked from field because Dimicai is thought to be able to improve eyesight and cure fainting according to old folks.

May 5th of lunar year is Dragon Boat Festival on which Wuhan citizens have the habit of eating salted duck’s egg and zongzi (pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves), drinking realgar wine, and sending mung bean cakes, almond bean curd, eight-treasure porridge (porridge with bean paste, lotus seeds, preserved fruit, etc), lotus seed in rock sugar soup, sponge cakes and other food which can get rid of summer heat as gifts.

August 15th of lunar year is Mid-Autumn Day, a festival in which Wuhan citizens like eating moon cakes under moonlight. September 9th of lunar year is Double Ninth Festival, in which people usually drink chrysanthemum wine and eat sweet lotus root with honeydew, potato doughnuts and sweet-scented osmanthus glutinous rice paste.

Winter in Wuhan is quite cold. In order to supply internal heat and improve health, Wuhan citizens usually stew various kinds of soup except eating beef, mutton and dog meat. Nearly every Wuhan family has a gallipot and stewing soup is a popular entertainment for Wuhan people to show respect for guests. The main materials for soup stewing are griskin, chicken, duck and beef, and supplementary materials are turnip, lotus root, kelp and mushrooms.

In the twelfth month of lunar year, Wuhan citizens have the custom of salting fish and meat. Flowering Chinese cabbage fried with preserved ham is a home cooking for Wuhan people in severely cold winter.

On the eighth day of twelfth month of lunar year, Wuhan people often boil porridge with sticky rice, ormosia, and dried fruit, which is called laba porridge.