China / Society

Fancy a state dinner? Now you can order it on Tmall

By Ma Chi ( Updated: 2015-12-23 12:04

Fancy a state dinner? Now you can order it on Tmall

A photo from B2C retail website shows the state banquet package for Chinese New Year's Eve dinner.

With the Spring Festival around the corner, many have prepared for the family reunion dinner on the Chinese New Year's Eve beforehand. This year, some high-end choices, which are usually served to state leaders, are on offer for the all-important Spring Festival, reported

Diaoyutai Food and Biotechnology, a business set up by Diaoyutai State Guest House which entertains visiting foreign state leaders, announced on Dec 22 that it will sell state banquet dishes as Chinese New Year's Eve dinner on Tmall, a Chinese B2C online retail website. This is the first time that the provider of state banquet has gone into business.

On the menu of the state-level New Year package meal, there are famous dishes such as Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, Lion's Head and Braised Prawns. And unsurprisingly, the state-level delicacy is not cheap: a set meal comprising of four dishes and one soup is priced at up to around 4,000 yuan ($617).

This year, the New Year state banquet dinner is limited to 6,000 sets. Because the state banquet meal is half-finished products and delivered via cold chain, it is only available for customers in Beijing and Tianjin.

The state banquet is held for visiting state leaders and other distinguished guests during festivals or other important occasions. It is held either in the Great Hall of People or the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing. The dishes are a fusion of different cuisines across China and also draw from other countries.

The first state banquet of New China was held on Oct 1, 1949, the day the People's Republic of China was founded. On the menu were such dishes as Stewed Lion's Head and Braised Carp.

For Chinese, having reunion dinner on the New Year's Eve is an important ritual during the Spring Festival. No matter where they are, most Chinese people manage to go home for this single most important dinner in the whole year.

Traditional foods for the family reunion dinner on New Year's Eve include dumplings, glutinous rice ball, fish and rice cake.

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