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Why do people eat jiaozi during the holidays?

By Yao Xinyu (People's Daily Online)    14:51, February 06, 2016
Why do people eat jiaozi during the holidays?
People make jiaozi. (Photo/Chinanew.com)

For many of China’s lunar holidays, people northern China like to eat jiaozi (Chinese dumplings). Why are jiaozi so popular? Why do people always choose to eat jiaozi during the holidays?

Writer and lecturer of studies of Chinese ancient civilization, Wang Fengchen, explains that the earliest jiaozi were eaten in the Three Kingdoms Period when there were wonton in the shape of a crescent moon. Moving on to the Northern and Southern Dynasties, people ate jiaozi, back then called wonton, together with noodle soup. Only in the Tang Dynasty did people start to eat jiaozi without the soup. During the Song Dynasty, the name “jiaozi” began to evolve.

Apart from their rich history, jiaozi have been popular for many other reasons. Wang thinks jiaozi are the favorite food for the northern Chinese. They’re not only delicious, but also very simple to make. Different places have their different ways of making and eating jiaozi. For example, in some of the southern cities in China, jiaozi are made in the shape of ear of wheat, while people from the north tend to make jiaozi like crescent moons. People from some places like to eat jiaozi together with noodles, implying a wish for great fortune. Based on the auspicious shape of jiaozi, it usually has implications for wealth or a good harvest, which is why people like to eat jiaozi for luck.

At the beginning of the hottest part of the summer, the beginning of autumn, the beginning of winter, the winter solstice, as well as the lunar New Year eve, people will eat jiaozi, rewarding past successes and hoping for good fortune in the following days. Chinese people have the tradition of being thrifty in managing a household, and as jiaozi are a delicious delicacy, people like to save them for important occasions. After being passed down for a thousand years, eating jiaozi has become an important part of Chinese culture. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Bianji)

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