Enjoy Dongzhi Festival with ‘chicken puppy’ dumplings

Penghu people keep alive tradition of ‘chicken puppy’ sweet rice dumplings

Taiwan News
Date: 2016/12/21 17:20
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taipei — Today marks the Dongzhi Festival, the equivalent to the winter solstice in the

Bowl of tangyuan dumplings (Image by Sebastian Mary on flickr).

Gregorian calendar. Taiwanese families traditionally reunite on this day and eat tangyuan (湯圓), brightly colored glutinous rice balls, to symbolize family unity and the passing of another year.

The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is the shortest day of the year and is usually cold, however this year has been unseasonably warm, with today’s high in Taipei reaching a balmy 26 degrees Celsius (80 degree Fahrenheit). It is said that if it is sunny on the winter solstice, it will rain on Chinese New Year’s Day.

The process of making tangyuan involves first soaking sticky rice flour in water, then kneading it into a dough, pressing it with a stone to drain the water, and then shaping the dough into the desired shape. Lastly, the rice ball is steamed and bright food coloring is then applied. One should take caution when buying ready-made dumplings as the Health Bureau of Taichung City announced on Monday the bust of an illicit dumpling maker that used industrial red dye to color its dumplings.   [FULL  STORY]

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