Today is the fifth day of the fifth month of the Lunar Calendar, Duan Wu Festival is celebrated and we have to eat粽子(Zong Zi-Mandarin/Ma Chang-Hokkien), which is rice dumpling. We were curious why we should eat it. We studied it during our primary schooling but I forgot the story behind it. My sister researched about it and found that it’s about commemorating the poet Qu Yuan was exiled and during that time wrote many poems. He then killed himself. The people used a dragon boat to drop some Ma Chang so that the fish won’t eat the poet’s body. When my uncle was asked what’s the origin of eating Ma Chang or giving Ma Chang, he said that it’s for Song Chong –sending someone to his/her final resting place, which sounds like Song Chong (Giving of Ma Chang). He was really right about that. The dragonboat rowing helps keep the fishes away from the body. The poet gained many followers and he contributed a lot in harbouring honor and love for one’s country.
I’ve seen some clips before on TV about families working together in making zong zi. Some stewed pork or chicken could be cooked with the sticky rice. Afterwards, the rice would be wrapped in leaves in triangular shapes.
It’s more meaningful now that I know the reason behind eating zong zi.
I saw a very cute picture of pandas playing with zong zi: