If you live in the Bayside area and are searching for delicious, authentic Chinese food, look no further than You Garden Xiao Long Bao. Since 2016, we have been serving up genuine Shanghainese cuisine in the heart of Queens. Our most popular item is our mouthwatering xiaolongbao. Commonly referred to as “soup dumplings” in English, xiaolongbao are broth-filled, steamed dumplings. Featuring rich, savory buns and a steaming soup center, our xiaolongbao has attracted visitors from around the world.
When talking about Chinese food, it is nearly impossible not to also talk about Chinese festivals. Chinese festivals are a huge part of the country’s culture, and include so many more celebrations than just Chinese New Year. In this blog post, You Garden Xiao Long Bao explores five of the most important Chinese festivals, and which foods are used as parts of the traditions involved. Explore our menu of authentic Shanghainese and Chinese dishes to see what we offer here at You Garden and Xiao Long Bao and order some of these festive delights for take-out or delivery today!
- Dongzhi Festival: Also known as the Winter Solstice Festival, this festival is one of the most important celebrations in all of East Asia. Celebrated by the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans alike during the winter solstice on or around December 22, Dongzhi Festival is a time for family get-togethers and, of course, feasts! The most iconic dish of the festival is tangyuan. Symbolizing reunion, tangyuan are dessert dumplings made from glutinous rice and served in a hot broth or syrup. For the Dongzhi Festival, they are often brightly colored pink or green.
- Chinese New Year Festival: As the most well-known Chinese festival in the West, Chinese New Year Festival has a history of more than 4,000 years. Involving nearly two weeks of festivities — such as parades, fireworks, and gift-giving — the Chinese New Year is a celebration of the renewal of the lunar calendar. The New Year’s Eve dinner, known as nián yè fàn, is traditionally large and sumptuous, featuring many different foods that symbolize good luck. Some of the foods associated with Chinese New Year that we serve here at our Bayside Chinese restaurant include taro cakes, turnip cakes, and noodles, which symbolize longevity.
- Mid-Autumn Festival: As a celebration of the harvest, Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, roughly corresponding to mid-September to early October of the Gregorian calendar. The Mid-Autumn Festival centers around three fundamental concepts — gathering, thanksgiving, and prayer. Festivities include lighting lanterns, burning incense and, of course, the consumption of delicious mooncakes! Moon worship is a huge part of the Mid-Autumn festival, and mooncakes are round pastries featuring a thick filling of red bean and lotus bean paste. Thanks to You Garden Xiao Long Bao, you can enjoy the unforgettable taste of mooncakes right here in Bayside, any time of the year.
- Qixi Festival: Also known as the Qiqiao Festival, Qixi Festival is to the Chinese what Valentine’s Day is to the West. The festival celebrates a romantic Chinese folk tale, involving a love story between a weaver girl and a cowherd. Held on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, Qingming Festival involves females partaking in a variety of rituals, such as burning paper items as offerings, visiting the local temple, and reciting traditional prayers for dexterity in needlework. They may also make wishes for marrying a good and loving husband. Like most Chinese festivals, Qixi Festival involves a variety of traditional foods, with some of the most popular being dumplings, cloud noodles, and glutinous rice sticks, all of which we proudly serve here at You Garden Xiao Long Bao in Bayside.
- Hungry Ghost Festival: Sometimes referred to simply as Ghost Festival, Hungry Ghost Festival is a Taoist and Buddhist celebration held on the fifteenth night of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, known as Ghost Day. On this day, deceased ancestors are said to visit the living, and the occasion is marked by a veneration of the dead. Elaborate (often vegetarian) meals are served, with empty seats for each deceased family member. During the Hungry Ghost Festival, the focus is less on the symbolism of the food and more about nourishing ancestors. Common dishes include brightly-colored rice cakes known as peng kway, and — for non-Buddhists — roast chicken and pork.
Order From You Garden Xiao Long Bao today!
Is your mouth watering? Don’t worry! You Garden Xiao Long Bao is here to fulfill all of your cravings, from authentic mooncakes to our variety of iconic Shanghainese dishes. When you order from our Bayside Chinese restaurant, you can enjoy an array of traditional festival foods, any time of the years. Contact us now for takeout or delivery or dine-in at our Bayside restaurant.