This week coming we have the celebration known as Duānwu Jie (pronounced ‘dwann-woo-jyeah). This festival is traditionally celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. It has a history of over 2000 years. And it’s time for Sticky Rice Balls and Dumplings! There are Dragon Boat Races and other healthy outdoor pursuits in honour of Wu Zixu, the loyal courtesan to the Emperor in 340-278 BC.
Wu Zixu ended his life when the Emperor King Fuchai ignored his advice to the detriment of the Kingdom. He leapt into the Miluo River. When his body couldn’t be found, the people fed Sticky Rice Balls to the river fish so that his body would not be consumed.
This tradition continues today and is known as Qu Yuan Commemoration – Sticky rice is eaten in memory of this loyal servant to the Emperor. The favoured form of serving is as Zongi (or Zongzi). Traditionally many families make Zongi themselves but now with everyone having busy lives it is also convenient to buy Zongi ready made. At Tang we have a great range of delicious Zongi – Packaged ready to heat and eat.
For those not familiar with Zongi, it presents as a pyramid of glutinous rice wrapped in reeds or bamboo leaves. Various fillings are added to the rice – such as jujube in the North of China. In the South sweetened bean paste, fresh meat or egg yolk are preferred.
The festival is often called the Dumpling Festival. Dumplings and Sticky Rice Balls are very popular and very delicious. Here at Tang we have a wide variety to choose from in our freezers. You can look here on our website to make your selection. Ask our knowledgable staff as to which they prefer. All are high quality and very flavoursome. It’s time to choose your Zongi and Dumplings!
It is also traditional to drink Realgar Wine. ‘Realgar Wine drives evils away’. This is a fermented alcoholic drink made form cereals and realgar powder. In ancient times everyone believed that realgar was an antidote for all poisons, that it killed insects and it ‘drove away evil spirits’.
This year on Saturday May the 27th you can view Dragon Boat Racing at the Docklands Boating Hub. This is located at the end of Collins St in the old North Wharf Harbour.
It may be cold, so make sure you have filled up with savoury and sweet Zongi and the many dumpling treats at Tang: The Asian Food Emporium, located at 185 Russell St, Melbourne. We look forward to seeing you soon.