With the annual Dragon Boat Festival approaching, making and eating zongzi, a tasty dish consisting of rice dumplings with meat, peanuts, egg yolks or other fillings wrapped in leaves, has been a traditional custom for Chinese people since the ancient time. Shunde people is of no exception.
Villagers are making zongzi for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival.
At their doorstep, a round table is set up with bowls of fillings and zongzi leaves. Family members gather around, make zongzi and share stories with happiness, which has been a common memory for most of all. In Chen Mingtian's memory, his parents would make zongzi at home every time before the Dragon Boat Festival.
"Although we had few ingredients back then, we didn't feel less happier than other people when the family were making zongzi together," said Chen.
Chen's family are making zongzi.
To make zongzi, the entire process usually consists of spreading leaves, spooning fillings, folding leaves and binding cotton thread. In terms of the ingredients, Cantonese prefer sticky rice, red beans, pork, salty yolks, etc., and leaves like phrynium capitatum and banana leaves are ideal wrapper with distinct freshness. In addition, it is complex to make authentic zongzi. First, the sticky rice should be soaked and seasoned in advance. Then, you need to mix all the fillings and shape them as a pyramid or quadrihedron. In addition to the complexity of making zongzi, it still needs more than four hours to cook. Thus, it took Chen two years that he finally mastered the skill of making zongzi.
The ingredients of zongzi
Underneath the loquat trees, the wrapped zongzi form small hills, while the kitchen stove in the old house is once again kindled with firewood. "Many people think that the process of making zongzi is very complex and tedious, but the fact is that the custom, as part of our traditional culture, is worthy of being passed down from generation to generation," said Chen.
Reporter | Christy
Revisor | Linn, Eddie
Photo | Foshan News and Media Center