The Lantern Festival or Yuanxiao Jie is a traditional Chinese festival, which is on the 15th of the first month of the Chinese New Year. The festival marks the end of the celebrations of the Chinese New Year.

Chinese started to celebrate the Lantern Festival from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD). Like most other Chinese festivals, there is also a story behind the Festival. It is also believed that the festival has Taoist origins.

This is a festival for people having fun. On the night of the festival, people go on streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon, watching lions or dragon dancing, playing Chinese riddles and games, and lighting up firecrackers. There is really a lot of fun for the young and the old.

Yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) or Tangyuan is the special food for the Lantern Festival. It is believed that Yuanxiao is named after a palace maid, Yuanxiao, of Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty. Yuanxiao is a kind of sweet dumpling, which is made with sticky rice flour filled with sweet stuffing.

Yuanxiao is sticky, sweet and round in shape, symbolizing family unity, completeness and happiness.

You can find Yuanxiao in oriental food stores. If you enjoy cooking, here is a recipe of Yuanxiao for you.


4 1/2 cups (500 g) sticky rice flour

butter 7 oz (200 g)

black sesame powder 7 oz (200 g)

sugar 8 oz (250 g)

1 tsp wine


1. Mix the butter with sesame powder, sugar and wine together. You need to heat a little bit. Make small balls about 0.3-0.4 oz (10 g)each.

2. Take 1/2 cup of sticky rice flour. Add water into the flour and make a flatten dough. Cook it in boiled water and take out until done. Let it cool down. Then put it in the rest of the sticky rice flour. Add water and knead until the dough is smooth.

3. Make the dough into small pieces about 0.3-0.4 oz (10 g) each. Make it like a ball using hands first and then make a hole in the ball like a snail. Put the sesame ball into it and close it up.

4. Cook them in boiled water. Make sure to keep stirring in one direction while cooking. When they float on the water, continue to boil for about one minute using less heat.




元宵(黏米团子)或者叫做汤圆是元宵节这一天必吃的食物。相传汉武帝时宫中有一位宫女,名叫"元宵",长年幽于宫中,思念父母,终日以泪洗面。大臣东方朔决心帮助她,于是对汉武帝谎称,火神奉玉帝之命于正月十五火烧长安,要逃过动难,唯一的办法是让"元宵姑娘" 在正月十五这天做很多火神爱吃的汤圆,并由全体臣民张灯供奉。武帝准凑,"元宵姑娘"终于见到家人。此后,便形成了元宵节。元宵这种食物实际上是甜馅"饺子"的一种,用粘糯米和甜的馅料制成。













(来源:爱词霸沙龙 英语点津姗姗编辑)

Copyright © English Reader | Powered by Blogger