Jiaozi or dumpling is a traditional
and popular food with a long history in China. There
is a popular saying in China: "There is nothing
more delicious than Jiaozi." so you could imagine
how much Chinese love it.
In the later years of Eastern Han Period,
an official called Zhang Zhongjing created a kind of
food to help poor people keep warm in cold winter. It
was made with all kinds of fillings such as mutton,
hot pepper and some medicinal materials. Afterwards
people began to make dumplings as well.
Jiaozi is the food that will no doubt appear
on tables during Spring Festivals. Generally, people
prepare it before midnight on the last day of the passing
lunar year and eat it after the New Year's bell is sounded.
Jiaozi looks like shoe-shaped gold and silver
ingots so when people eat it during festivals they really
hope it could bring fortune and good luck to them, and
this, of course, is their best wishes. Sometimes people
will add some sweets, Chinese dates and chestnuts in
fillings of some dumplings to express their wishes.
They hope those who get sweets could have a sweeter
life. Those who get dates and chestnuts could have babies
early, because dates (Zao), are homonymic with early
in Chinese, so are chestnuts (Zhenzi). Zi is homonymic
Today Jiaozi has already become an important
part of Chinese cuisine.