Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nian gao is on sale again

Nian gao, a traditional cake made of glutinous rice is on sale again. This cake will be used when the Chinese say goodbye to their dewas who will go the the Jade Emperor's Realm on the 24th day of the 12th lunar moon and return only on the 4th day of Chinese New Year.

This sticky cake was said to have the function of sealing the mouth of the Kitchen Dewa when he goes to the Jade Emperor to report on the affairs of the house in which he dwells. In order that he will only report good things, nian gao is offered to him so that only favourable things about the household will come out of his mouth. This is the belief of the Chinese. It sounds like bribery to me. Anyway, it is good to believe good things said of each of us. In fact, if everyone only says good things about his friends, no squabbling will take place and this world will be a better place to live in.

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