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Hongshan rice cake, a Wuxi Spring Festival tradition

Glutinous rice cakes are one of the most popular desserts among residents in Hongshan town, Wuxi's Xinwu district.

Rice cakes are also a Spring Festival necessity in Wuxi. Its Chinese name 年糕 (nian gao) is a homophone for "year higher" (年高), which symbolizes increasing prosperity and promotions year after year.

The traditional way of making rice cakes for the Lunar New Year still exists in Hongshan town.

Skillful locals often mix glutinous rice flour with brown sugar juice and steam the mixture. Then they knead the hot glutinous rice mixture from the steamer by hand with wet gauze to make smooth rice cakes.

Glutinous rice cakes made in Hongshan are usually brown and in the shape of rectangle. Often given as a gift, they are delicious when steamed, fried or even eaten cold.

During Spring Festival, the oldest and most important festival in China, people in Wuxi and even in the south of China like to eat sweet rice cakes, while people from northern China often eat jiao zi , or dumplings.

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