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DIY Zongzi popular in Xiamen during Duanwu Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival or Duanwu will fall on the 28th May this year. For thousands of years, Duanwu has been marked by eating Zongzi and racing dragon boats.

Zongzi is a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves to give it a special flavor.

DIY Zongzi popular in Xiamen during Duanwu Festival

However, under the impact of the inancial crisis this year, instead of buying finely packaged name-brand Zongzi, more and more people are choosing to make them at home.

Many traditional Zongzi brands such as Xiagang, Wufangzhai, and Longfeng have been scrambling to seize the market in Xiamen’s supermarkets ahead of time. But according to a supermarket staff, these finely packaged Zongzi are not selling well this year. By contrast, cheap and fresh Zongzi in bulk are more popular with citizens.

In the No.8 Market, one of the most popular traditional markets in Xiamen, a 250-gram Zongzi which has 7 to 8 kinds of filings such as pork, mushrooms, dried oyster, egg yolk, and other fillings, sells for 5 yuan each. Their sales volume has increased by nearly 30% from last year, said a local merchant.

Meanwhile, a lot of young housewives are choosing to learn how to make Zongzi from their mother or grandmother, which makes ingredients for this rice dumpling selling better than ever. The supermarket staff said that mushrooms, chestnuts, dried sea oyster, shrimp, and other ingredients are selling quite well and prices have been raised accordingly.

In the No. 8 market, the price of stripped chestnut has risen from 12 yuan/kg to 24 yuan/kg. Dried scallop has risen by 10 to 12 yuan/kg and peeled shrimp now sells for 50-80 yuan/kg. But in spite of the rise, these items are selling much better than usual.

Miss Jiang, a local Xiamenese, said the average cost of a DIY Zongzi is just half of an on-sale Zongzi. Besides, you can choose your favorite tastes and fillings, and they are more safe and clean. In addition, this year’s Dragon Boat Festival holiday will be three days and many citizens said they will have more time to make Zongzi at home, which can not only be served by family members, but also can be sent to relatives and friends as gifts.

Industry insiders believe that with the increasing popularity of the Dragon Boat Festival, the Zongzi rice dumpling is promising. It can even sell better than the Mid-Autumn Festival moon cake, as Zongzi has become so popular that you can now buy it all the year round while the moon cake only sells during a short period of time.

Translated by WOX

From: XMNN 2009-5-22

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