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Typical ethnic feast: Tang family's long table banquet

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, January 31, 2011
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As the lunar new year approaches, villagers of the Miao ethnic minority are busy buying supplies and doing spring cleaning. One very important tradition is the long table banquet. Reporter Xue Jingmeng brings you a taste of the typical Miao feast.


This usually quiet village in Guizhou province is bustling ahead of the Chinese New Year.

Lao Tang is famous in his hometown. In the 1970s, he went to Beijing to study at Minzu University of China. To promote the Miao culture of his village, he stayed on to work in Beijing for 7 years. He says he went home every year during that time. And families would always prepare a sumptuous long table banquet.

These days, temperatures are below freezing in Guizhou. After buying all the banquet ingredients, Lao Tang took us to this fishpond. He told us that fresh fish cooked with typical spices is delicious.

Xue said, “Lao Tang is preparing a very special meal. He’s bought pork and chicken from the market and caught the fish himself. He wants to make the finest feast for his hard-working family.”

Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, long table banquet begins. Lao Tang is the chef.

Lao Tang said, “For the people of the Miao minority, over the New Year, we eat chicken, fish and preserved ham. The chicken porridge is necessary, one of our traditional dishes. Everyone likes it very much. For Spring Festival, we gather together, and eat well and drink well.”

Lao Tang is retired, and prepares the banquet every year for his family.

The family lives in this wood house, which is over a hundred years old. They don’t have a lot, but they’re happy. With planting season over, Lao Tang and his wife devote all their time to their grandchildren.

Tang Shengzhang, son of Lao Tang, said, “I work in the county. I come back every weekend. My child is here and I’m excited to see her. It’s hard for parents to look after the children. Spring Festival is coming, I want to return as soon as possible, to see if everything is well prepared, and what else I can do.”

The long table banquet is ready. Rice wine, hot-pot, chicken porridge are all on the table. There is a tradition in the Miao village. Over the New Year, all the relatives and friends come to eat and drink together. If you wish to come, no problem.

Xue said, “For thousands of people in this village, a long table banquet is an important tradition and connection. People working away from home return and wish for a bumper harvest and success in the New Year.


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