Dumplings are a special kind of holiday food, and also a common home-cooked dish. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, the whole family sits in a circle, kneading the dough, mixing the filling, rolling the wrap, wrapping, pinching, and boil the dumplings, all the while having a good time.
The festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year will last for a half month, until the 15th day of the first lunar month when it is the Lantern Festival, another important holiday of the Chinese. On the night of the Lantern Festival will be the first full moon of the year. Festive decor and bright lights adorn the major streets and narrow alleyways. The people while guessing fun riddles placed inside beautiful lanterns, enjoy yuanxiao (glutinous stuffed rice balls in soup), the southerners call them tangyuan.
On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, the Dragon Boat Festival, zongzi, or glutinous rice cake wrapped in reed leaf is the festivity food. The Dragon Boat Festival has had more than 2,000 years of history in China.
Second to the Spring Festival in importance and grandness is the Mid-autumn Festival, when people get together to have the moon cake.Because of its round shape like that of the moon, the moon cake symbolizes union. Every Mid-autumn, when the bright round moon is hanging above, and all homes are united, people enjoy moon cakes while observing the moon and enjoying life. Moon cakes and zongzi are both considered desserts and not main meals.