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Wrapping up the festivities

By Pauline D Loh | China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-18 11:22
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With the first full moon of the lunar year, the 15 days of celebrations for Spring Festival wind down, and life will return to normal. On this day, yuanxiaojie, or Lantern Festival, there will be one final round of eating and drinking.

Symbolism is very important in Chinese culinary traditions, and so, to reflect the full moon, glutinous dumpling balls will be eaten first thing in the morning. Tangyuan and yuanxiao will be made and eaten throughout the country.

Tangyuan is popular in southern China and is made by mixing fine glutinous rice powder with water to form a dough, which is then molded around fillings like red bean paste, sesame paste and crushed peanuts. They are cooked in sweet soups, sometimes scented with osmanthus flowers or flavored with sweet rice wine.

Yuanxiao, named after the day itself, is a northern delicacy. Its production is more complex and involves a ball of filling tossed onto damp glutinous flour on a tray. The tray is rhythmically rolled around until the filling is coated with layers of rice flour, and become nice and round. These dumplings are then cooked in water.

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