Today on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month is Duanwu Festival. It is a working day in Malaysia.
HAPPY DUANWU FESTIVAL!
Duanwu Festival is also known as Dumpling Festival, Dragon Boat Festival or Chang Festival. The festival is about Qu Yuan, a much loved and admired ancient Chinese poet cum scholar who committed suicide by jumping into the river. He was devasted because the king refused to listen to his advice. To prevent his body from being devoured by fishes, the people made chang (dumplings) and threw them into the river hoping that the fishes would feed on the dumplings instead of his body. Now, every year during this festival, the Chinese follow this tradition of making and eating chang to commemorate Qu's patriotism and loyalty towards the king and country.
“Duanwu Festival 2011!”, a copyrighted post, was written for Klang, Malaysia Daily Photo blog by Autumn Belle @ http://mymalaysiadailyphoto.blogspot.com/ on June 6th, 2011
There are many types of 'chang' or zongzhi in various shapes and sizes depending on the dialect group, and cultural influences. Some examples are Cantonese style with mung beans, Hokkien, Hakka, Teochew and Nyonya. Nyonya changs are uniquely Malaysian in that the glutinuous rice are tinted blue with a natural dye made from the flowers of our native plant, the butterfly pea. The filling is also quite spicy.
The main ingredients used to make chang are glutinuous rice and beans such as broad beans, red beans and mung beans. For the Dumpling Recipe, you can visit this link at kuali.com.
For the fillings, the ingredients are salted egg yolk, mushrooms, meat (chicken or pork) cooked with 5 spice powder and chestnuts.
Some like to add some preserved vegetables and chopped garlic.
The most difficult part is tying the dumpling securely so that the contents will not spill out during the cooking/steaming process. This needs a lot of practise before one can perfect the skill. To prevent wastage, some people practise by wrapping sand in mango leaves. Dumpling making used to be a family skill passed on from moms to their daughters in every household. Now, not many people do this anymore.
Dried bamboo leaves are used to wrap the dumplings. The strings are made from a seawater reed plant (harm sui cho) or the banana trunk.
Lastly, do remember to go back early to have dinner with your family members.
This is my entry for My World Tuesday, the link is here.