Jiaozi or dumpling is a traditional
and popular food with a long history in China.
There is a popular saying in China: "There
is nothing more delicious than Jiaozi." so
you could imagine how much Chinese love it.
In the later years of Eastern Han
Period, an official called Zhang Zhongjing created
a kind of food to help poor people keep warm in
cold winter. It was made with all kinds of fillings
such as mutton, hot pepper and some medicinal
materials. Afterwards people began to make dumplings
Jiaozi is the food that will no doubt
appear on tables during Spring Festivals. Generally,
people prepare it before midnight on the last
day of the passing lunar year and eat it after
the New Year's bell is sounded.
Jiaozi looks like shoe-shaped gold
and silver ingots so when people eat it during
festivals they really hope it could bring fortune
and good luck to them, and this, of course, is
their best wishes. Sometimes people will add some
sweets, Chinese dates and chestnuts in fillings
of some dumplings to express their wishes. They
hope those who get sweets could have a sweeter
life. Those who get dates and chestnuts could
have babies early, because dates (Zao), are homonymic
with early in Chinese, so are chestnuts (Zhenzi).
Zi is homonymic with children.
Today Jiaozi has already become an
important part of Chinese cuisine.