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Home > Cooking Tips > Chinese Cuisine > Chinese Cuisine - An Introduction > Chinese Cuisine :: Festive Food

Chinese Cuisine :: Festive Food



Chinese Cuisine - Festive Food

Symbolic food plays a crucial role in celebrations throughout the Lunar calendar.

Nin Go - Chinese New Year Cake

Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year represents new beginnings. Richly flavoured cakes, called nin go, are extremely popular during this time because to the Chinese they represent success. Nin in Cantonese means "year" and go, "high", so to eat these foretells a successful year ahead. Lotus seeds in a sweet soup, called lin chi, is also popular. It is offered to newly married couples because the name, lin chi means "every year a son", urging couples to have children soon.

Dragon Boat Festival
Entwined in the mythology of the Dragon Boat Festival is zongzi, a tasty glutinous rice dumpling. Some believe that when poet Qu Yuan committed suicide in 278 BC by jumping in a river, locals threw rice into the river as a sacrifice to their dead hero, and to nourish his spirit. In a dream, the poet revealed the fish were eating the rice and requested it be bundled and wrapped in silk to protect it. In another version, the rice packets were meant for the fish, in an effort to keep them from devouring Qu Yuan's body.

There are many different types of zongzi. Hong Kong's favourite dumpling features pork soaked in soy sauce or bean paste in the middle of the glutinous rice. Zongzi come in many shapes, but are most commonly triangular or pyramid shaped.

Glutinous rice dumplings


Mooncake Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year. These mooncakes can be found in any bakery before the festival in all shapes and sizes. They may be filled with an assortment of ingredients including dates, nuts, lotus seed paste, bean paste and even pork or Chinese sausages.


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