Traditional Chinese Spring Festival Food
Niangao(Rice Cake) (年糕Niángāo)
The northerners eat Jiao Zi, but southerners like to eat Nian Gao, which translates to "New Year Cake". In Chinese, Gao is a homonym for high. Nian Gao is also called Nian Nian Gao, which is a homonym for "higher each year", symbolizing progress and promotion at work and in daily life and improvement in life year by year.
Nian Gao is a sweet, sticky, brown cake made from rice flour and sugar, a kind of glutinous white cake in the shape of rectangle. Often given as a gift, it is delicious when steamed, fried, fried with eggs or even eaten cold.
Southern China produces rice, so traditionally the southern Chinese usually eat Niangao (rice cakes) to celebrate the New Year. This belief derives from the Chinese pronunciation of rice cake as 'niangao', a homophone for a word meaning a higher level of life. Niangao is made of glutinous rice powder and can be cooked by frying, steaming, stir-frying or boiling. With the development of the social culture, eating Niangao is also popular now among some northern Chinese during the Spring Festival.