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Monday, June 6, 2011

Duanwu Festival 2011

Today on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month is Duanwu Festival. It is a working day in Malaysia.


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.


  1. I would love to taste it when i go to Malaysia. We have something like that wrapped in leaves, but with other ingredients. Sometimes only rice is inside, famous in some parts of the country. We call it "puso" or heart because it is shaped as such!

  2. Happy Dumpling Day sorry one minute late haha. Good to see they are using the natural strings made from banana trunk. Chinese newspaper exposed the danger of using rafia strings as they would be boiled together with the dumplings for hours. Great sharing. tQ.

  3. I would love to taste them :)
    nice captures

  4. Delicious looking food and terrific captures! Happy Duan Wu Jie to you!! Enjoy!


  5. Hope you enjoyed the day. Looks delicious!

  6. What a fun day! The great thing about festivals is the food. Everything looks yummy too.

  7. Great post! I am also enjoying my sticky rice that my mother makes. She usally makes two kinds - one with red bean paste (that I like to eat with syrup - like pancake syrup), and a savory one with mung bean paste,a piece of salted fatty pork, and salted duck egg (which is one reason why my parents keep ducks).

    I'm struggling for time every day or I would do a post too. I did take some photos today and maybe I"ll e-mail them to you. My mother is an amazing cook!

  8. I can find some halal dumplings here!

  9. Hei..Have not seen you updating your blog for a while...too busy....:)

  10. Hi, Daddy. Thank you very much for your kind concern.

    Yeah, I have not been updating this blog as I am pretty busy with work lately. I have lots of photos waiting to be posted. Coming soon...


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Autumn Belle


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