Kitchen God Festival foods
The Minor New Year's Day, or the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month of each year, is a day for offering sacrifices to the kitchen god and for thorough cleaning.
It is believed that on the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month every year, the kitchen god goes to heaven and reports the good or evil deeds of every family to the Jade Emperor, who will then reward or punish the people accordingly. So, the Minor New Year's Day is also called the Kitchen God Festival.
One of the traditions on Minor New Year's Day is eating barley candies. Barley candies are melted with fire and applied to the mouth of the kitchen god. Thus, he will not say bad things to the Jade Emperor. In some areas, it is a custom to eat baked wheaten cakes, sugar cakes and deep-fried dough cakes and to drink bean curd soup.
People living in north China also eat dumplings on the festival, and the Chinese in the south usually begin preparing niangao for the coming Spring Festival.