The story appears on

Page B1

January 17, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Pounding rice and honoring Kitchen God

EVERYONE knows about the big Spring Festival traditions: fireworks, hongbao (gift money in red envelops), decorative paper cutting, and house cleaning. But many other interesting customs are dying out.

Some of these are still preserved in rural villages.

? Pounding rice for niangao, the New Year's cakes made of glutinous rice

Today most people buy ready-made rice cakes in supermarkets, but once upon a time, they were home-made.

After being washed and cooked, rice is put into large wooden barrels or tubs. People, usually strong men, then pound the rice with heavy wooden clubs or mallets until it turns very sticky.

? Ceremony for the Kitchen God

Offerings are made to zaojun (god of the stove), the major domestic deity who oversees hearth and home and reports to the Jade Emperor.

Offerings include good wine, fresh fruit, meat, fish, candies, water chestnuts and other gifts. The god is said to bless people with a bumper harvest in the new year.

? Pasting nianhua or New Year's paintings on doors and ovens

The paintings depict auspicious subjects, such as the Boy of Wealth, gods of longevity and fortune, happy scenes as well as scourges of bad luck.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend