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Local Food and Customs

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Due to key location and long history, Anyang has kept all Chinese traditional customs. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the traditional dishes of local flavor.

Among the most unforgettable ones are Laomiao beef, Chuwang buckwheat cake and sesame candy.

Laomiao beef en joys a great reputation in China. For 300 years, it has been called”The flower of North Henan”. It is said that there was a family near Laoye Temple of Hua county, who made their living by selling beef. And the specially-cooked beef was so popular that each family in the area began to do the beefbusiness in the middle of the Qing dynasty. The skills also progressed a lot.

Nowadays Laomiao beef is stewed with as many as 15 kinds of seasonings and the residual sauce(reserved from previous cookings) on a charcoal fire.

With a history of over 160 years, Chuwang buckwheat cake will be among those you can never miss. First made during the reign of Emperor Daoguang of the Qing dynasty, the cake is made by steaming and boiling buckwheat flour. When it is served, it is usually cut into rhombic pieces and you can enjoy the cake with garlic juice, mature vinegar, edible sesame oil and mustard. So rich in nutrition is it that the cake is suitable to eat for both the young and the old. It will give you an appetite and help to alleviate the summer heat.

Anyang locals have preserved a custom of offering sesame candies to the Kitchen God on the 23rd of the last month of Chinese lunar calendar. Kitchen God is sent by heaven to each family, and he will report to heaven about the one year life of thefamily on this day. About this tradition, there is a story about Li Mengzheng, Prime Minister of the Song dynasty. As a child, Li led a poor life with his mother. Since they had no house, they lived in a temple. Intelligent and diligent, Li won the affection from the elder of the temple. He taught the child to read and write, and often gave him some sesame candies made by the elder himself with sesame, wheat and yellow rice. When it came to the day of 23rd of the last month of lunar calendar, poor Lu had no other than the candies to serve the Kitchen God. The sweet candies stuck the Kitchen God’s mouth when it came to the reporting time, so the Kitchen God could do nothing other than nod at each of the heaven’s question. The heaven understood this as a total compliment of the boy’s personality and crowned him inthe next year’s nationwide examination. It is only a tale, but the locals have kept the custom all these years, to hope for good luck.

Besides, today, Anyang people still “ride in the carriage”(replaced by a bus after new China was founded and a road was built) on the 16th day of the first lunar month, celebrate the ceremony of receiving the Spring God (who masters agricultural production) and the Spring Ox (a paper-made ox with peanuts, walnuts, dried persimmon and copper-made coins inside), the ceremony of beating the Spring Ox, as we11 as the ceremony of honoring Confucius both on his birthday and on the day of his death.

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