EmailFacebookGoogle+PinterestTwittertumblrReddit

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 ChinaVegan.com 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


饺子用面粉做皮儿,里面的馅儿则是五花八门,可以依据个人的口味来调制。因此,饺子是一种不分地域,不分季节,老少皆宜的食品,中国人爱吃饺子,除了它多样的口味之外,更主要的原因,是饺子在几千年的发展过程中,已经带有一种吉祥寓意的食品。饺子的形状是扁圆的,它和古代象征财富的元宝的样子很相似。尤其是在过年的时候,辞旧迎新之际,一家人团圆吃饺子,那么就寓意着在新的一年里头,可以增加财富,可以过上更好的日子。那么,更重要的是因为饺子它是包馅的,馅里头可以包进去各种各样的吉祥的寓意,比如说人们结婚的时候,饺子的馅里可以包上花生和栗子,就寓意早生贵子。小小的饺子承载了那么多吉祥的寓意,使它和中国传统风俗有了千丝万缕的联系。自古以来,民间就有许多吃饺子的习俗,像除夕吃饺子、破五吃饺子。

Read the original article on ChinaVegan.com

SHOW ENGLISH TRANSLATION »

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: