Yuanxiao dumplings

Yuanxiao or tangyuan (tangtuan) dumplings are made of glutinous rice flour. They can include sweet or savoury filling. In the north of China they include sweet bean paste, sesame and peanuts. Filled dumplings are served in a water in which they were boiled. On the other side dumplings with no filling are served in some sweet soup like for example red bean soup or the one with black sesame.

Yuanxiao dumplings
Yuanxiao dumplings

Yuanxiao dumplings represent family unity and wish for prosperity. They are traditionally eaten during two festivals - Dong Jie (winter solstice festival) and Yuanxiao (lantern festival). Dong Jie festival is held on the 22nd and 23rd of December. The next Yuanxiao festival will be on the 24th of February, 2013.

If there are children in the family dumplings are sometimes shaped as tigers, dogs, cats or rabbits. Family with a pregnant woman observes dumplings. If they expand she is going to give birth to a baby boy. Dumplings of unchanged shape mean birth of a baby girl.