Full moon and yuanxiao for Lantern Festival

created: 2009-02-09

Tonight the moon is supposed to look the biggest and brightest in all of latest 52 Lantern Festivals.

It also means good business for yuanxiao retailers.

Eating yuanxiao, glutinous rice balls with sweet fillings, and admiring the beauty of the full moon on Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first lunar month, are traditional practices. The day also marks the end of Spring Festival.

Being white and spherical, a yuanxiao symbolizes the full moon and family reunion. Since Wednesday hundreds of people have been queuing up at Daoxiangcun Co's store in Andingmen before it opens at 8 a.m. everyday.

The Beijing company has been making yuanxiao for more than a century, and many senior citizens swear by its taste.

A 76-year-old man surnamed Zhang bought 500 g of yuanxiao yesterday afternoon after queuing for 10 minutes. "Having yuanxiao on Lantern Festival bodes well for the rest of the year."

This year, Daoxiangcun has made more than 2,000 tons of yuanxiao, up 30 percent year-on-year, to meet the demand, the company said. Even an increase in its price from 30 yuan to 36 yuan a kg has failed to deter buyers.

Jiaozi (meat and vegetable dumpling) is a must during Spring Festival and "so is yuanxiao on Lantern Festival", said a woman surnamed Hao, one of the buyers at the store.

Firework vendors, too, were doing brisk business yesterday because Lantern Festival is the last day when people can set off fireworks and firecrackers inside the Fifth Ring Road in Beijing.

(China Daily)


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