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Making Qingtuan for Qingming Festival

Category: Chinese Culture

In China, almost every traditional festival is associated with festive food. There is no exception for Qingming Jie, also known as Tomb Sweeping Festival. Qingtuan, or green rice balls, is the typical food to mark the day. For most of the seniors, it is a must-have offering at the family tombs; while for the children, it's a sweet treat.

The custom of making sweet green rice balls dates back to the Zhou Dynasty over 2,000 years ago. There are generaly made of a mixture of glutinous rice powder and green vegetable juice, and stuffed with sweetened bean paste. In Longsheng county of Guilin's Northwest part, the Dong people has their unique way in making Qingtuan. 

"Qing", or green, comes from the green grass extract. A special type of weed called mugwort leaves is needed. The locals pick up wild ones in the paddy fields.

The leaves must be washed before grind then in a stone mortar. Then, Take the weed out and pound it until it becomes pulp, then squeeze the green extract out. 

In a big bowl, place the glutinous rice flour, water, sugar, and also the cooked mugwort. Blend then until well combined. 

For the wrapping, take a dough, flatten it, and put the filling on top of the mugwort dough. Seal it and make it in a big round ball. Then they can be cooked by steaming.

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