Dumpling festival held in Chicago to celebrate Chinese New Year
CGTN

‍Some 650 people on Sunday gathered in a compound in the western suburbs of Chicago to celebrate 2019 Chinese New Year, which falls on February 5 this year.

The Chicago North Shore Chinese Center put five big pieces of dough of five different colors, made of flour mixed with carrot, red beetroot, yellow beetroot, purple cabbage and fennel juices, respectively, on a long table that also displayed some finished dumplings, or in Chinese, "Jiaozi". 

Dumplings in various colors made by doughs of different ingredients. /VCG Photo

Dumplings in various colors made by doughs of different ingredients. /VCG Photo

Eight-year-old Hannah Hargan was immediately attracted to the colorful display of the dough.

Each with a small flat piece of dough in hand, Principal Phillip Sun taught Hargan how to make a dumpling hand by hand. After putting a spoon of filling in the center of the flat dough, Sun bowed down to the same height of Hargen and showed her how to pinch the dough edge together with the thumb and index fingers. 

Watching Sun's demonstration and following his instructions, Hargen made a dumpling of her own in a minute and proudly added it to the display tray.

A photo collage shows the procedure of making dumplings: put the fillings into a round-shaped dough piece (L), and pinch the edge together (R). /VCG Photo, design by Li Wenyi

A photo collage shows the procedure of making dumplings: put the fillings into a round-shaped dough piece (L), and pinch the edge together (R). /VCG Photo, design by Li Wenyi

This is the third year in a row for the United Chinese Americans (UCA) Illinois Chapter to host the dumpling festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

With traditional Chinese dumpling making as its theme, the festival has gone beyond to include some other Chinese cultural demonstrations and games, including Chinese calligraphy, clay sculpture, Jianzi, paper folding and cutting, lantern making, tea ceremony, abacus and tangram.

People play Jianzi, a shuttlecock, by holding it in the air with any part of the body except hands. /VCG Photo

People play Jianzi, a shuttlecock, by holding it in the air with any part of the body except hands. /VCG Photo

Sitting at a table scattered with colorful papers, six-year-old Maeve Longbing Contant and four-year-old Mairead Chuhan Contant followed an instructor and folded two dogs, which they kept as their rewards. Anne Contant, the two sisters' mother, stood behind them and looked at them lovingly.

Anne Contant adopted her two daughters with albinism in China when they were 16 months old. Pending Chinese Lunar New Year, Anne has raised red lanterns at home and decorated the rooms with red.

A woman makes a traditional paper-cutting piece to decorate home during Spring Festival. /VCG Photo

A woman makes a traditional paper-cutting piece to decorate home during Spring Festival. /VCG Photo

Now living in the United States, Anne just tries to take every chance to let her daughters indulge themselves in Chinese culture and "know where they are from."

In a greeting address, Liu Jun, Acting Consul General of the People's Republic China in Chicago said the story about dumpling is related to Chinese New Year. "The shape of dumpling represents happiness and harmony," Liu said, and wished everybody a happy and prosperous New Year.

(Top Photo: A dish of dumplings, or Jiaozi, with some red packets by its side. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency