1. Cold Food Festival originated from Chinese according to a legend. The legend has been told that, in Spring and Autumn period, Chong’er (Tan Van Cong), a prince of Jin, endured many hardships while he fled around the warring states. Once, in order to help the prince who was tormented by hunger, Jie Zhitui (Gioi Tu Thoi) cut off the flesh from his thigh and offered it to the prince for sustenance. Later, when Chong’er became Duke Wen of Jin, he ordered a search for Jie Zhitui who had gone into hiding in the remote mountains with his mother.
Jie Zhitui had no political ambitions and felt ashamed to work with his hypocritical fellows, hence refused invitation of the Duke. Then the mountain was ordered to be burned down in order to force Zhitui out of hiding. Unfortunately Zhitui did not give in and the fire ended up killing Zhitui and his mother. Filled with remorse, the Duke ordered that each year during these three days the setting of fire is forbidden – all food was to be consumed cold. Therefore the Festival is thus named
In Vietnam, because of a thousand years of domination by northern invaders, our people were affected by Chinese customs and we also celebrated Cold Food Festival, which is called T? t han th? c , in the northen part of the country, but only marginally. However, our Cold Food Festival is very different from Chinese’s. We cook glutinous rice balls called “banh troi banh chay” on that day to worship their forefather but the holiday’s origins are largely forgotten, and the fire taboo is also largely ignored. 2. Origin of “Banh troi banh chay” In Cold Food Festival, “banh troi banh chay” are indispensable.
However, through many generations, people still make these cakes but almost of them do not know about their origins. There are many legends about them but the most famous one is the legend of Lac Long Quan and Au Co. According to this legend, Au Co gave birth to a bundle of 100 eggs, which hatching 100 sons. After growing up, a half of the sons followed their father to go to the sea, and another half, together with the mother, went to the mountain. So Vietnamese people make “banh troi” as the symbol of 50 sons, who hatched from 50 eggs, went to the mountain and “banh chay” as the symbol of others who went to the sea.
Today, we make these type of cake to remind ourselves about our root. Due to limited time, in this part, we just present how to make “banh troi” and its ingredients. ? Ingredients: – Sticky rice flour – Salt – Water – Candy – Roasted sesame and coconut which is scraped into fibers. ? Process of making cakes: – Mix the flour with salt and cold water, and knead the dough. – All the flour should be mixed gradually; if it’s in excess, add more flour until the mixture is smooth and soft. – To knead the cake, first of all, take small parts of the dough, roll and then give the dough a slight press in order to flatten.
Secondly, put the candy into the middle, and bundle up. – Try to roll them roundly and regularly so that the cake will look good – Before boiling the cakes, you should prepare a bowl of water to drop them into it when they are picked up. – Boiling a pot of water and drop the cakes in turn, just 5-7 cakes one time to pick them all up at the same time. At first, the cakes will sink when we drop them in. – When the cakes are done to a turn, they’ll float, which means it’s time to pick them up. – Remember to drop the cakes into the bowl right after pick them up so that we can prevent them from being sticky. Finally, all you need to do is to pick up the cakes, put them into a dish, and sprinkle the dish with roasted sesame. 3. Meaning: In our country, Cold Food Festival has a profound national meaning which is consistent with the psychology as well as daily life of Vietnamese people. In Cold Food Festival, people only make “banh troi, banh chay” to replace cold food. Its main aim is to remind us of our ancestors. “Banh troi, banh chay” are made to express our gratitude and remember our root. On the whole, it is an interesting cuisine festival that not all countries over the world have.