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Summer solstice food recipes
June 21 marks the Summer Solstice, the 10th solar term of the year. During this period, much of the Northern Hemisphere receives the most hours of daylight.
In China, the traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms, which were created thousands of years ago to guide agricultural production. Nowadays, solar terms are used to guide people's lives through aspects such as eating special foods. Let's have a look at what food people traditionally eat on the Summer Solstice in different regions of the country.
1 Beijing: noodles
Cold noodles (File photos)
An old saying goes, "Eat dumplings on the Winter Solstice and eat noodles on Summer Solstice.” People in Beijing like to eat noodles on the Summer Solstice. In particular, they like to eat cold noodles and lettuce. Owing to the hot weather, eating cold food can clear body's inner heat and be appetizing.
2 Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province: yuan hujiao
In Shaoxing, people like to eat yuan hujiao, which is made up of flour from rice and garnish such as fragrant-flowered garlic. In the past, people threaded yuan hujiao with bamboo sticks, stuck it in nearby paddy fields and burned incense, praying for a harvest.
3 Wuxi, Jiangsu Province: kasha and wonton
On the Summer Solstice, people in Wuxi like to eat kasha for breakfast and wonton for lunch. After eating wonton, children will be weighed in hope of an increase in weight and a healthier body.
4 Lingnan area (Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces): lychees
People in the Lingnan area have a custom of eating lychees. People eat lychees in hope of less illness and a healthy body. Cantonese speaking areas in Guangzhou Province and areas such as Yulin City in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also eat lychees on this day.
5 Hunan Province: eggs
People in some areas in Hunan Province, such as Hengyang and Chenzhou, eat eggs on the Summer Solstice. On that day, eggs are boiled, then shelled and added with red dates to soup. It is believed that eating eggs can strengthen the body and stomach.
6 Nanjing, Jiangsu Province: pea flour cake
Pea flour cakes
On the Summer Solstice, Nanjing has a custom of letting children eat pea flour cakes while sitting on a doorsill, in hope of guarding against various illness. The origin of the custom is that people do not have much appetite due to the hot weather. Eating pea flour cake can help build an appetite.
(Produced by Ni Tao and Zhao Dantong; article written by Yang Chuchu)