Long lines form for Lantern Festival delicacy

Updated: 2011-02-18 13:09

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Chinese New Year festivities came to an end on Thursday with the Lantern Festival, as residents across China celebrated the occasion with the traditional delicacy yuanxiao.

In Shanghai, people waited for hours on Thursday to buy the festive dumpling that is made of boiled glutinous rice balls with stuffing. The delicacy is called tangyuan in the south.

At noon, outside the Meixin restaurant, a local favorite, people were waiting in a 20-meter line for the takeaway dumplings.

"We sell about 100,000 tangyuan every day as the Lantern Festival draws near," said Xue Qiyong, the restaurant's manager.

But it's too hard - and busy - to calculate the number on Thursday because of the large number of customers. The earliest customer arrived about 5 am, he added.

To meet the huge demand, five chefs started to prepare the handmade delicacy at 5 am on Thursday.

"It takes at least five hours for customers to buy the dumplings on these two days, while it takes at most one hour on regular days," Xue said.

In Beijing, yuanxiao is especially popular at renowned chain stores.

A manager at Dao Xiang Cun, a brand renowned for making traditional food, said his workers produced an extra 230,000 kg of yuanxiao by working overtime during the festival because the originally planned 1 million kg were not enough to meet the demand.

In the company's Madian store, consumers had to wait in lines to buy the popular handmade yuanxiao for the past three weeks. The store sold an average of 750 kg of yuanxiao a day in the first lunar month up to Thursday.

Xie Shoucai, a 51-year-old Beijing resident, was one of the buyers at the shop who was anxious to take the delicacy home for a reunion celebration with his family. He said yuanxiao is a must for the festival.

In Guangzhou, people tend to celebrate the festival with new types of stuffing.

Fruit stuffing of several types, labeled as low-calorie and healthy compared with the traditional sesame and peanut stuffing, hit the market before the Lantern Festival.

Strawberry stuffing was the most popular at a major supermarket in Tianhe district.


1. What does Lantern Festival mean in China?

2. What is the traditional food for Lantern Festival?

3. What is yuanxiao?


1. The Chinese New Year festivities came to an end with the Lantern Festival.

2. A traditional delicacy, yuanxiao.

3. Festive dumplings made of boiled glutinous rice balls with stuffing. The delicacy is called tangyuan in the south.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Long lines form for Lantern Festival delicacy

About the broadcaster:

Long lines form for Lantern Festival delicacy

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.


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