Diet Customs of Jing-Chu People
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There are festival diet customs recorded in Jing-Chu in Mind, “when spring begins, relatives and friends get together to eat spring pancakes and lettuce”; “on the first day of the first lunar month, ...people drink pepper and parker wine and spiced sake, eat peach soup and JiaoYa soup”; “on the seventh day of the first lunar month, people have porridge made of seven kinds of vegetables normally including radish, Chinese broccoli, cabbage, large leaf mustard, spring vegetable, garlic and celery”; “at Summer Solstice, people eat Zongzi(Traditional Chinese Rice-pudding)”; “at the end of a year, each family prepares food and drinks for the gathering to embrace the New Year”. From the above records, it could be noticed that the diet changes at different times and festivals. Many dishes not only bear beautiful stories and anecdotes, but also embody people’s best hopes and wishes.
Chu people also have diet taboos. For example, during the grand shopping for the Spring Festival in the twelfth month of the lunar year, fried beans, baked and dried broad beans, peanuts and puffed rice are called “Fried La Pot”. It’s customary to fry La pot on December 27th instead of 28th, for Chinese characters “炒”(chao) and “吵” (chao), “八”(ba) and “发”(fa) are homophonic words. If people fry La pot on this day, it will lead to frequent quarrels and affects fortune-making due to disharmony. For another example, on the New Year’s Eve, it’s a practice to serve a bowl of fried fish on the family reunion dinner, for Chinese characters “鱼” and “余” have similar pronunciation, yu, which takes annual and superabundant idea. Such customs are passed and carried on till now, and are well-accepted.