Its dumplings 粽子"zongzi" galore this time of the year - 5th day of the 5th lunar month. This is sometimes called bakchang. Some call it "zong". This is a celebration widely celebrated by Chinese around the world and in Malaysia, most of my Malay and Indian friends join in the celebration that it is time to go bakchang overload:P
The real reason behind the celebration however is to honour the poet Qu Yuan (340-278 B.C.) from the Chu Kingdom who was so grieved that his country was taken over by the Qin General. So great was his grief, he jumped into the river. As the legend goes, packets of rice were then thrown into the river so that the fishes would not eat his body. Another story has it, that the wrapped rice are thrown into the river to appease the dragons that live underwater. Thus the 粽子 season is also during the Dragon Boat Race time.
Its not an easy task to make them - the wrapping itself is insanely labour intensive that only skilled hands can handle. So I rather save myself the labour and embarrassment. Off I go this season to seek good dumplings:D
I say labour intensive and only skilled hands because there's so much ingredients to prepare. Even the glutinous rice had to be soaked for a few hours, a lot of slicing, marinating of the ingredients...Then comes the highly skilled process of wrapping. Unless you wrap it right and wrap it well, your whole will turn all soggy and probably be oozing out of the bamboo leaves when you boil the 粽子
So here's a heads up folks, the next few blog post will be on dumplings. I promise you, they will be one of the best 粽子 around.