Culture - Chinese

WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 38190 [post_author] => 1006 [post_date] => 2015-09-18 09:30:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-17 23:30:42 [post_content] =>

Chewy, sweet, and sometimes colourful, for most Chinese families, Moon Festival isn't complete without the Tangyuan. Also known as the "Yuanxiao", these glutinous rice balls immersed in boiled water or sweet syrup is one of the most important Moon Festival dishes. Round like the moon, and served in a round bowl, the Tangyuan also symbolises family unity to Chinese families across the globe.

As the Moon Festival coincides with the harvest season, it is made out of rice as rice is one of the primary harvests of the season. Most dishes and sweet treats made during Moon Festival are usually made using rice and rice flour.

Moon festival Element - Tangyuan

Image: Soon Koon used under the Creative Commons Licence

Legend of the Tangyuan

For a dish that has been passed through several centuries of Chinese families, the origin of the tangyuan dish has its own folklore. One of the most popular versions of the tangyuan origin story is that of a  maid of honour named Yuan Xiao, in the Han dynasty.

Yuan Xiao was taken from home when she was very young and given to serve in the emperor's palace. She missed her parents terribly and always had a strong urge to go visit them, but she wasn't allowed to leave the palace. One of the ministers of Han dynasty knew about this and he promised to help her. He asked her to make a lot of Tangyuan in order to worship the Gods on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese calendar.

Yuan Xiao made the best Tangyuans she could. The emperor was so impressed with the effort she put into making Tangyuans, that he permitted her to visit her parents and also renamed Tangyuans as Yuanxiao to honour her. The fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese calendar was also considered to be the Yuanxiao festival. This is also symbolic of a family reunion with her family and hence Tangyuans are eaten during moon festival.

sesame tangyuan - Moon festival Element

Image: vhines200 used under the Creative Commons Licence

Eating Tangyuan During the Moon Festival

Eating these succulent sweet treats is an integral part of the Moon festival and is usually eaten after the lanterns are released in the sky. Eating  them is also a way for the Chinese to express their love, regards and best wishes for their families.

 Here’s how you make a Tangyuan in 10 simple steps. strawberry tangyuan - Moon festival Element

Image Courtesy: Micah Sittig used under the Creative Commons Licence

 These days tangyuans are made with various fillings like strawberry, sesame, yogurt, ice cream and so many more.  Making tangyuans with your kids can be a fun activity during the Moon festival as kids love colours and rolling colourful balls with yummy fillings will be something for them to look forward to.  [post_title] => Moon Festival Foods - Tangyuan [post_excerpt] => One of the important elements in the Moon festival is the Tangyuan, also known as Yuanxiao, made from glutinous rice balls in sweet syrup, these are succulent and delicious, [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => moon-festival-element-tangyuan [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-28 16:14:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-28 05:14:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://asianinspirations.com.au/?post_type=asian-culture&p=38190 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => asian-culture [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )

Moon Festival Foods – Tangyuan

Chewy, sweet, and sometimes colourful, for most Chinese families, Moon Festival isn’t complete without the Tangyuan. Also known as the “Yuanxiao”, these glutinous rice balls immersed in boiled water or sweet syrup is one of the most important Moon Festival dishes. Round like the moon, and served in a round bowl, the Tangyuan also symbolises family unity to Chinese families across the globe.

As the Moon Festival coincides with the harvest season, it is made out of rice as rice is one of the primary harvests of the season. Most dishes and sweet treats made during Moon Festival are usually made using rice and rice flour.

Moon festival Element - Tangyuan

Image: Soon Koon used under the Creative Commons Licence

Legend of the Tangyuan

For a dish that has been passed through several centuries of Chinese families, the origin of the tangyuan dish has its own folklore. One of the most popular versions of the tangyuan origin story is that of a  maid of honour named Yuan Xiao, in the Han dynasty.

Yuan Xiao was taken from home when she was very young and given to serve in the emperor’s palace. She missed her parents terribly and always had a strong urge to go visit them, but she wasn’t allowed to leave the palace. One of the ministers of Han dynasty knew about this and he promised to help her. He asked her to make a lot of Tangyuan in order to worship the Gods on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese calendar.

Yuan Xiao made the best Tangyuans she could. The emperor was so impressed with the effort she put into making Tangyuans, that he permitted her to visit her parents and also renamed Tangyuans as Yuanxiao to honour her. The fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese calendar was also considered to be the Yuanxiao festival. This is also symbolic of a family reunion with her family and hence Tangyuans are eaten during moon festival.

sesame tangyuan - Moon festival Element

Image: vhines200 used under the Creative Commons Licence

Eating Tangyuan During the Moon Festival

Eating these succulent sweet treats is an integral part of the Moon festival and is usually eaten after the lanterns are released in the sky. Eating  them is also a way for the Chinese to express their love, regards and best wishes for their families.

 Here’s how you make a Tangyuan in 10 simple steps.

strawberry tangyuan - Moon festival Element

Image Courtesy: Micah Sittig used under the Creative Commons Licence

 These days tangyuans are made with various fillings like strawberry, sesame, yogurt, ice cream and so many more.  Making tangyuans with your kids can be a fun activity during the Moon festival as kids love colours and rolling colourful balls with yummy fillings will be something for them to look forward to. 

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