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liuzhou

Lantern Festival Tang Yuan

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Today is 元宵 yuán xiāo, the Lantern Festival marking the 15th day of the first lunar month and the last day of the Spring Festival (春节 chūn jié) which begins with the Chinese New Year on the 1st of the lunar month.

 

Today is the day for eating 汤圆 tāng yuán, sweet glutinous rice balls.

 

I was invited to take part in a celebration ceremony this morning in what is considered to be the city's most beautiful park. I half agree. It lies in the south of the city, surrounded by karst hill formations, but for me, the park itself is over-manicured. I like a bit of wild. That said, there are said to be around 700 species of wildlife, but most of that is on the inaccessible hills. There are pony rides for the kids and some of the locals are a bit on the wild side.

 

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Park Entrance

 

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Karst Hill

 

Although the park has beautiful flower displays and great trees, what I love most is the bamboo. Such a beautiful plant and so useful.

 

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They had also hung the traditional red lanterns on some of the trees.

 

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The main reason for us to be there was to be entertained by, at first, these three young men who bizarrely welcomed us with  a rendition of Auld Lang Syne played on their bamboo wind instruments - I forget what they are called. They are wearing the traditional dress of the local Zhuang ethnic minority.

 

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Then some local school kids sang for us and did a short play in English. Clap, clap, clap.

 

Then on to the main event. We were asked to form groups around one of four tables looking like this.

 

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Appetising, huh? What we have here at top is a dough made from glutinous rice flour. Then below black sesame paste and ground peanut paste. We are about to learn to make Tangyuan, glutinous rice balls. Basically you take a lump of dough, roll it into a ball, then flatten it, then form a cup shape. add some of each or either of the two pastes and reform the ball to enclose the filling. Simple! Maybe not.

 

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Some of us were more successful than others

 

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These are supposed to be white, but you can see the filling - not good; its like having egg showing all over the outside of your scotch eggs.

 

Modesty Shame prevents me telling you which were mine.

 

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At least one person seemed to think bigger is better! No! They are meant to be about an inch in diameter. Sometimes size does matter!

 

Finally the balls we had made were taken away to be boiled in the park's on-site restaurant. What we were served were identically sized balls with no filling showing. They are served in this sweet ginger soup. The local pigs probably had ours for lunch.

 

 

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The orange-ish and purplish looking ones are made in the same way, but using red and black glutinous rice instead.

 

Fun was had, which was the whole point.

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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You are my favorite tour guide.  Both the second and third photos would make fantastic prints!  They

both are just stunning.  Seeing your posts was a great way to begin my morning.  Now I guess I am

ready to read what happened in politics overnight...Thank You

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55 minutes ago, IowaDee said:

You are my favorite tour guide.  Both the second and third photos would make fantastic prints!  They

both are just stunning.  Seeing your posts was a great way to begin my morning.  Now I guess I am

ready to read what happened in politics overnight...Thank You

 

Wow! Thank you so much. I am just happy someone enjoys what I share from my lucky life.

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I love the way you show us Chinese customs, foods and festivals of a country I will never get to, although I almost did, once.  My husband was invited by the Chinese Government to help set up their statistical survey systems and I decided to go along.  I got my visa from the Chinese Embassy lickety-split but our own government wouldn't expedite my passport so I was unable to go.  He had a most interesting time, with your government having provided him with a car and driver who took him around to various places on the weekend, such as the great wall.  He loved it.

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On 02/03/2018 at 8:02 PM, ElsieD said:

I love the way you show us Chinese customs, foods and festivals of a country I will never get to, although I almost did, once.  My husband was invited by the Chinese Government to help set up their statistical survey systems and I decided to go along.  I got my visa from the Chinese Embassy lickety-split but our own government wouldn't expedite my passport so I was unable to go.  He had a most interesting time, with your government having provided him with a car and driver who took him around to various places on the weekend, such as the great wall.  He loved it.

 

I'm sorry you weren't able to make the trip. Beijing isn't my favourite place, but the Forbidden City and the Great Wall are, I suppose, bucket list material for many people. The wall, as President Reagan said is a wall and it's great.  I've been twice. Once in summer and once in winter.

The forbidden city was interesting , but as  a Chinese friend's mother said "I prefer to live in my house." Her house is a two bedroom shack at the side of a river. Her home gets flooded every summer. And I mean totally submerged, not a bit damp.

I will also say that Beijing food is not my favourite. One or two dishes maybe, But outside of Imperial cuisine you can buy at eye-bleeding prices, the rest is pretty bland.

By the way, It's not my government! It's just the one I have to live under!


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I just remembered when I forgot trying to remember and thought of something else. The musical instruments are called 排箫 pái xiāo

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I loved your post, as always. Is communal dumpling making a traditional way to celebrate the Chinese New Year season? I ask because my  nephew and niece had the family over for the holiday, and we all made Jao Tze and Won Tons. Yes, my niece is Chinese and showed us how her father made them!

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2 hours ago, Naftal said:

Is communal dumpling making a traditional way to celebrate the Chinese New Year season?

 

Thanks. Yes, it is. Very much so.

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