Le Dragon, la cuisine chinoise et la Culture

2012-07-03 09:52 ChineseTime

龙须面 [lóng xū miàn]

Ancient Chinese people believed that, since the dragon is holy, it is naturally connected with auspiciousness and fortune. People link the dragon with favorableness and the image of dragon has become an integral symbol of social life. The image of the dragon is ever present in a variety of works of art, languages and scripts and in all kinds of artifacts.

Culinary culture has also forged indissoluble bound with the dragon. In terms of food names, there are longxia (lobster), longyan (longan), longli (a kind of fruit which is a hybrid of the lychee and longan), longxu cai (asparagus), Dragon and Tiger Fight (Fried Cat and Snake Meat with Sauce), Dragon Well tea, longxu mian (Sautéed Fine Noodles with Shredded Chicken) etc. Some of these names are derived from their shapes which resemble the form of the dragon and some are named for the sake of denoting good fortune. Another point in case is the catering customs of traditional Chinese festivities; there are the records of “the second day of the second lunar month being “Dragon Head Raising Day”. In order to express people’s expectations for harvest, there is widespread consumption of noodles, in particular “Longxu mian” noodles. Baked pancakes are also called “Dragon Scale”, and dumplings are known as “Dragon Teeth”. In the Qing Dynasty, people sprinkled lime afro winding path of lime from their threshold to their kitchen and encircled water vats on “Dragon Heads Raising Day”. The whole process was called “leading the dragon back”. People in Beijing fired millet powder, jujube cake and buckwheat to make food which was called the fuming insect. In addition, on the Festival of Lanterns, people perform Dragon Lantern Dance and on the Dragon Boat Festival people hold dragon-boat races. These are all culinary and cultural activities related to dragon.

qīng huā fán hóng lóng wén qì mǐn
青   花  矾  红   龙   纹  器 皿 


The pattern of the dragon often appears on household utensils and cooking utensils. It has been regarded as a symbol for people’s aspiration for goodliness or creates a solemn and exalted atmosphere. The postures of these dragons have different characteristics during various ages. Some dragons curve and wreathe, some curvet through the clouds, some march forward leisurely and some are poised. The stars change in positions and time passes by, the dragon created by our ancestors still retain its great vitality and good favor with the public. The dragon still rouses the national esteem and pride from the bottom of the heart.

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