On the traditional Chinese calendar, July 7 is the annual Qixi Festival, also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day, and falls on different date each year on the calendar usually used worldwide. This year's July 7 on Chinese calendar falls on August 2 on the Gregorian Calendar that is used by the United States. Rather than dining out this year, Ruiyu Hu, a University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) graduate, prepares to make some food for his girlfriend Qianran Wang, a senior student at UMD, on this special day. Ruiyu Hu shares his recipe and hopes Duluthians can try make this food for any occasion rather than just Valentine's Day.
Pork Huntun/Wonton Soup for two
- 30-50 minutes
For the wonton
- Mix 3lb ground pork with proffered amount of green onion.
- Add preferred amount salt and about 3 teaspoons soy sauce into the filling.
- Add one tablespoon filling to each dumpling/huntun/wonton skin and seal it closed
For the soup
- Add 20 cups of water into a pot.
- When boil the huntun/wonton, add pork ribs or any kind of meat/vegetable preferred into the soup.
- When the huntun/wonton float to the soup surface, the whole dish is ready to serve.
For this year’s Qixi Festival, the report from Lake Voice also gathered some information about Asian restaurants for Duluthians to try on August 2.
Asian cuisines in Duluth area
The Qixi festival started with a mythology back in Han Dynasty. Zhinu (the weaver maid), a goddess traveled in the human world out of her curiousity. She then fell in love with a young farmer, Niulang (the cowherder). Her mother found out about this secret love and forbade them from seeing each other. After that, each year on July 7 a flock of magpies gathered together and used their bodies to build up a bridge for the couple to meet each other.
The traditional festival now is westernized. Mostly young couples will go out at night, having dinner or watching movies. For couples in China some of them will go to the night market which is a huge thing Asia, having street food, buying couple-orientated stuff, etc.
For Chinese people in Duluth area, things might be a little bit different.
Wang and Hu are about to face the same situation as illustrated in the old mythology. Hu, graduated from UMD, is going back to China soon. This coming Qixi Festival will be the last Valentine’s Day before their separation.
For Wang, Qixi Festival in China is a fun time just like the State Fair in Minnesota. She likes the excitement better than the quietness here in Duluth during Qixi Festival.
Facing the upcoming separation, the young coupld is optimistic. They both feel confident about their relationship and are ready to get through the separation together, on each side of the earth.
“As long as we have each other in our hearts,” said Wang. “we don’t have always to be together.”
Qixi Festival influenced Tanabata in Japan and Chilseok in Korea. Even today this old festival is still influencing the world. Google last year put on its homepage a little game about the mythology of Zhinu and Niulang during Qixi Festival. If you are not planning a date on Aug. 2 this year, maybe you can try this little game and still have a fun time.