Mmm… Jiaozi. Nothing beats traditional Chinese dumplings. Steamed, boiled, or (as is more often the case in Japan) fried, Jiaozi has been around for thousands of years, and is most traditionally eaten on New Years Eve.

This short essay from introduces the dish and covers its traditional significance.

You’ll notice a reference to 破五 pò wǔ, the fifth day of New Years festivities. During the first four days, tradition dictates that it’s forbidden to cook, clean, or argue, but on the fifth day, these rules may all be broken, hence the name “Broken Five” festival.

Click to Listen

馅儿 – xiàn er – Stuffing, filling
五花八门 – wǔ huā bā mén – Myriad, all kinds
老少皆宜 – lǎo shào jiē yí – Suitable for all ages
寓意 – yù yì – Metaphorical meaning
元宝 – yuán bǎo – Fake gold brick burnt as an offering in ancient times
承载 – chéng zài – Bear, sustain
千丝万缕 – qiān sī wàn lǚ – Bear, sustain


Read the original article on


Jiaozi uses flour to make the wrapping [lit: skin], but the stuffing can be made from myriad things, and modified to suit individual tastes. Because of this, jiaozi is a food enjoyed by people in every region, in every season, both young and old alike. Chinese people love to eat jiaozi, and with the exception of its multitude of flavors, the main reason is that over the course of its several-thousand-year [culinary] development, jiaozi is a food that has come to represent good luck. Jiaozi is oval in shape, and thus it looks very similar to the ancient fake gold ingots that signified wealth. Especially during Chinese New Year, when welcome the new and dismiss the old, families reunite and eat jiaozi, which [if eaten] at the beginning of the year can increase wealth and can bring even better days. Even more importantly, because jiaozi is filled with stuffing, you can fill it with many different types of [food that traditionally has an] auspicious significance. For example, if someone’s getting married, you can stuff the jiaozi with peanuts or chestnuts to mean that you hope the couple will give birth to a son soon. Such little jiaozi carries so much significance, and it’s been linked to China’s social traditions in countless ways. Since ancient times, people have had many customs about eating jiaozi, such as eating it on New Year’s eve, and eating it on PoWu [Broken Five festival].

Leave Comment: