Food and Drink

Story of Dumplings

Dumpling is a typical symbol of Chinese food and now it has won worldwide popularity. As one of the most traditional Chinese foods, now dumpling is still served as main food for the people who live in North China. Making dumplings on New Year’s Eve has always been the most important activity for spring festival. Why Chinese people make dumplings during spring festival? In this article, I would like to tell you the reason and the story of Chinese dumpling.

In English “Dumpling” is also called Chinese meat ravioli or substantial stuffed dumpling, but in Chinese pinyin, it is called Jiaozi. In fact, its primitive name is “Jiaoer”. Jiaoer was developed by Zhang Ji (Saint in Medicine). Zhangji’s Jiaoer soup for dispelling cold has come down to modern times.

More than 1800 years ago, Zhang Ji was born in the city of Nan yang, Henan Province. You can see that the history of dumpling is more than 1800 years. Zhang was the founder of Chinese medical. He had super skills in medical treatment, believe me, even now there are really rare people can reach his level. With super medication skills, Mr. Zhang performed outstanding deeds in the medicine practice. Not only did he bring back lives to the patients, but also he treated everyone (rich and poor) carefully. Many lives were saved by his hands.

When Zhang was the major of Changsha, he often cured disease for common people. One year, a pestilence ranged in his area, he setup a big pot to boil medicine to offer treatments and he was loved and respected by local people. When he retired from the office, on his way back to hometown, he saw that many people were suffering from coldness and starvation and their ears were seriously hurt by coldness. Later, he knew that many people were getting serious typhoid fever and many of them were dying from it. Zhang was really sad about it, then he was determined to save all the poor men. He asked his students to setup the big pot to boil the medicine soup he developed.

The recipe of his soup is Jiaoer. He used the wrappers to contain mutton and other cold dispelling ingredients he found, and put them into the big pot for boiling. After having Jiaoer soup, all the people suffering from coldness felt hot and their ears became warm. As a result, all the people were cured by this cold dispelling soup just before the New Year’s Eve. In the New Year’s Day, in order to memory the recovery and the New Year, people still had Jiaozi (dumpling) on that day.

That is the story of dumpling and why Chinese eat dumplings during spring festival.

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