As Tomb Sweeping Day draws near, here are eight traditional food people from different parts of China consume on the day.
1. Green rice ball
People in the Jiangnan region often eat this kind of green colored balls made from glutinous rice on Tomb Sweeping Day. The green color is from the juice of brome grass that is added in the rice.
2. San zi
In both Northern and Southern China, it is a tradition to eat san zi, or fried dough twist, on Tomb Sweeping Day. The differences between san zi made by Northern and Southern people lie in sizes and materials. The former one is larger, often made from wheat and the latter is finer and made from rice.
3. Spring onion and omelette
On Tomb Sweeping Day, there is a tradition to eat spring onion and omelette in Qingdao in Shandong province. People believe these two kinds of food can improve eyesight and make eyes brighter. In old times, pupils often send eggs to their teachers to show respect on the day.
4. Thin pancake
People in Xiamen in Fujian province often have thin pancakes on Tomb Sweeping Day. Dried seaweed, omelette, veggies and chili sauce are added in the pancakes to enhance the flavor.
5. Steamed rice with leaf mustard
In many places in eastern Fujian province, people often steamed rice with leaf mustard on Tomb Sweeping Day to prevent scabies and other skin diseases.
6. Cudweed herb rolls
The best time to pick fresh cudweed herb is around Tomb Sweeping Day. The herb is often added in veggie rolls or dumplings and consumed on the day. In South China, people add the wild plant also in steamed buns.
7. Zitui bun
The steamed bun is named after Jie Zitui, a famous hermit of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC). Often each Zitun bun weighs 0.5kg and many colorful dough animals and flowers are decorated on the bun. Eggs and jujubes are added inside the bun to increase the sweetness. People in northern Shaanxi province have the tradition to eat this kind of bun on Tomb Sweeping Day.
8. Ai ban
To Hakka people in China, ai ban, rice dumplings made from wormwood and rice, is a necessary dish on Tomb Sweeping Day. They blend wormwood paste and glutinous rice powder together and add sesame, peanuts and black-eyed beans. After steaming the dumplings for 15-20 minutes, the food is ready.