Those plump little dumplings known as jiaozi are still the featured course on Chinese dinner tables this lunar New Year's Eve, even though western food is gaining popularity.
From early morning to evening Monday, customers lined up in front of the Wanfang Xidan Supermarket in Beijing to buy jaozi. Another supermarket sold 20,000 kilograms of frozen jaozi on Monday.
Chinese people have for hundreds of years regarded jiaozi as the formal fare for Spring Festival meals. The special food must be eaten up before mid-night New Year's Eve, so that people can be sure to benefit from New Year's blessings.
Jaozi is also linked with family reunions and happiness.
Over the past 20 years, as China opened wider to the outside world, the way of celebrating Spring Festival has changed a lot. But while most Chinese are still fond of eating jiaozi, believing that adhering to the tradition will bring luck, western-style food has become more popular in places like Guangzhou, capital of southern province of Guangdong which is adjacent to Hong Kong.
Reports say that young people prefer to eat in Western-style restaurants to experience the different flavors. He Wenwei, a restaurant manager, said that 70 percent of the tables have been
booked for New Year's celebrations compared with last year's 50 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency February 12, 2002)