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Food customs and legends of the Chrysanthemum Festival

Mochi is another food custom in southwest China for the Chongyang Festival. There are two types of mochi: soft and sweet, and hard and salty, and is made by putting cleaned glutinous rice into a pot of boiling water and rolling it. It is then steamed in a cage, pounded in a mortar, and kneaded into a ball. When serving, sesame seeds are fried and pounded into fine powder, rolled into strips, pulled into small pieces, and topped with sesame sugar, which is delicious and sweet. Hard patties, also known as “oil patties”, are made by steaming glutinous rice without pounding it, kneading it into a ball, rolling it out, adding salt and pepper powder to make a “filling”, then rolling and slicing it, and frying it in a frying pan. The oil patties have the pattern of a tree’s annual cycle, and are beautiful in red and yellow, salty and crispy, with an endless aftertaste.


The Chrysanthemum Festival is in September, autumn chrysanthemum fragrance, crab paste yellow taste, is a good season to eat crab, the ancient poem “not to Mount Lushan disappointing eyes, do not eat crab disappointing belly” the sentence. The poet Mei Yaochen of the Song Dynasty had a poem saying, “The taste of crab has been taken before the bottle, and the soup was in vain to the people”, so to this day, the steamed hairy crabs of Yangcheng Lake enjoy a high reputation as a seasonal delicacy in September in the domestic and international markets, and in the famous restaurants of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Eating persimmons is also a major food custom on the Chongyang Festival, and there is a legend in our folklore. According to “Qiyuan Qisha Qi”: one year, the Ming ancestor Zhu Yuanzhang went out of town on a private visit, this day was the Chongyang Festival, he had not eaten for a day, felt hungry and thirsty, when walking to the remaining Chai Village, only to see the walls down and trees, all for the fire, Zhu Yuanzhang secretly lamented, raised his eyes around, only the northeast corner of a tree persimmon is ripe, so picked to eat, about 10 pieces of food will be full, and despondent for a long time and go. B Wei summer, Taizu attack Caishi (now Maanshan Caishi Islet, Anhui Province) to take Taiping (now Taiping County, Anhui Province), the road through here, persimmon trees still exist, so the former private visits here to eat persimmons told the ministers, and decreed: “sealed persimmon for the Lingshang Hou”, so that the people of the world in the heavy sun are eating persimmons, in memory of.


It is an important custom in China to ascend to the heights of Chung Yeung. There is also a folk saying, according to legend, Huan Jing, a famous scholar in the Jin Dynasty, had studied with the Taoist priest Jia Changfang, one day Jia Changfang said to him: “September 9, your family has a disaster, to that day the family should wear dogwood, climb the mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, then this disaster will be eliminated.” Huan Jing respected the teacher’s advice to do so, when they returned home late, only to see the family’s chickens, dogs, sheep and pigs have been violently ill and died on the ground, from then on, it has become a habit, every day of chrysanthemum, every family should drink chrysanthemum wine, wear dogwood and climb high.

In September, chrysanthemum appreciation is also an essential celebration of the Chrysanthemum Festival. According to the “Tokyo Dreams and Records” contains: “Song Dynasty chrysanthemum chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum species are numerous, there are yellow and white said million bell chrysanthemum, pink said peach chrysanthemum, white and sandalwood said wood chrysanthemum, yellow and round said gold bell chrysanthemum, pure white and large said happy rong chrysanthemum, nowhere else, restaurants are bound with chrysanthemum into the cave.”


In ancient times, literati and scholars loved chrysanthemums, and often used them as a metaphor for the noble and bright style of autumn chrysanthemums, such as Tao Yuanming of Jin Dynasty, who also had a poem saying, “Chrysanthemums know my heart, and they bloom on the ninth day of the ninth month; guests know my intention, and they come together with the Chrysanthemum.” The poem not only reveals the poet’s self-appointed noble style, but also overflows with a strong interest in life. In September, when chrysanthemums are in full bloom, literati and scholars like to make use of the flowers to gather, drink wine, enjoy chrysanthemums, eat crabs, write poems and open chrysanthemum exhibitions to express their love for life and their longing for nature.

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