Customs

Duan Wu Festival

The informant is my grandmother from Taiwan, her hobbies are going to church and cooking. She says because Chinese tradition is very custom and done in certain ways it is weird to “stray” off on doing certain traditions. However, our family has done many of the same traditions, except starting from my great-grandparents time (4 generations), we had done some of these Lunar New Year traditions differently.

Informant:

端午節 (Duan Wu Jie) is the festival celebrating the beginning of spring. The tradition is to make 綜子 (Zong Zi), which is commonly called sticky rice pudding. It is contained using bamboo leaves and wrapped very tightly using a string. It can contain various other ingredients, but my family likes to put in: beef, beans, egg and mushrooms. Instead of the traditional way of steaming it, my grandmother boils it, which is a technique southern Taiwanese people do instead of the conventional and traditional way of steaming it.

香包 (Xiang Bao) is a small parcel that contains some kind of beans that has a certain smell to keep bugs away. The parcels are then hung around the house to keep away mosquitos. They are also considered to be toys that in my grandparent’s childhood would use to throw and hit other kids with it.

This specific festival was something I had known only about eating sticky rice pudding, but none of the other traditions that I had ever practiced. Knowing these new practices are very helpful for understanding my own culture and having a better grasp of my own roots.

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