Eggs are a staple food consumed by people worldwide, and China is no exception. However, the role and significance of eggs in Chinese cuisine and culture go beyond mere sustenance. Eggs hold a special place in Chinese culinary traditions and are featured in various dishes, festivals, and even traditional medicine. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of eggs in China, their cultural significance, and the various culinary delights they contribute to.
Eggs are reproductive structures produced by female animals, including birds, reptiles, fish, and some mammals. They are typically small, oval-shaped, and contain an embryo that develops into a new organism when fertilized. In the context of this article, we will focus on eggs specifically from chickens, which are the most commonly consumed type of eggs worldwide.
Chicken eggs are enclosed in a hard shell composed mainly of calcium carbonate. The shell provides protection and acts as a semi-permeable barrier, allowing gases and moisture to pass through while preventing bacterial contamination. Inside the shell, the egg consists of several components:
Egg White (Albumen): The clear, viscous liquid surrounding the yolk is called the egg white or albumen. It contains water, proteins, and a small amount of vitamins and minerals. The egg white acts as a source of nutrients for the developing embryo.
Yolk: The yolk is the yellow, spherical part of the egg suspended within the egg white. It contains the majority of the egg’s fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The yolk serves as a nutrient-rich food source for the developing embryo.
Chalaza: Two rope-like structures made of protein called chalazae anchor the yolk in the center of the egg. They help to maintain its position and prevent it from moving around inside the egg.
Air Cell: As the egg ages, it loses moisture, and an air cell forms at the wider end of the egg. The size of the air cell can be used to determine the freshness of an egg.
Chicken eggs are widely consumed in various culinary preparations worldwide. They can be cooked in different ways, such as boiled, fried, scrambled, or used as an ingredient in baking and cooking. Eggs are known for their versatility, providing texture, structure, and flavor to a wide range of dishes.
Additionally, eggs are considered a highly nutritious food. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential amino acids, vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and B vitamins), and minerals (including iron, calcium, and phosphorus). However, it is important to note that eggs also contain cholesterol and saturated fat, so moderation is advised for individuals with specific dietary restrictions or health concerns.
In conclusion, eggs are reproductive structures produced by female animals, with chicken eggs being the most commonly consumed type. They consist of a hard shell, egg white, yolk, chalaza, and air cell. Eggs are versatile in cooking and provide essential nutrients, making them a popular and nutritious food choice for many people.
how many types of eggs are there?
There are several types of eggs, including:
Chicken Eggs: Chicken eggs are the most common and widely consumed type of eggs. They come in various sizes, such as small, medium, large, and extra-large. Chicken eggs are versatile and used in a wide range of culinary preparations.
Duck Eggs: Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs and have a richer flavor. They have a thicker shell and a higher fat content, which gives them a creamier texture. Duck eggs are popular in Asian cuisine and are used in dishes like salted duck egg yolks and century eggs.
Quail Eggs: Quail eggs are small in size, with a speckled shell. They have a delicate flavor and are often served as appetizers, pickled, or used in salads. Quail eggs are commonly found in Asian cuisine and are sometimes used as garnishes.
Goose Eggs: Goose eggs are larger than chicken eggs and have a stronger flavor. They have a higher fat content and a richer yolk. Goose eggs are less commonly consumed than other types of eggs and are often used in baking or for making custards.
Turkey Eggs: Turkey eggs are larger than chicken eggs and have a similar taste and texture. They are less commonly available and primarily consumed by those who raise turkeys.
Ostrich Eggs: Ostrich eggs are the largest eggs produced by any living bird. They are around 20 times larger than chicken eggs and have a thick and hard shell. Ostrich eggs are primarily used for decorative purposes and are occasionally consumed. One ostrich egg is equivalent to around 24 chicken eggs.
Emu Eggs: Emu eggs are similar in size to ostrich eggs but have a darker greenish shell. They have a mild flavor and are less commonly consumed. Emu eggs are mainly used for decorative purposes or by those who raise emus.
Other Types: There are various other types of eggs consumed in different parts of the world, depending on the availability of local bird species. Examples include guinea fowl eggs, pheasant eggs, and quetzal eggs.
It’s important to note that different eggs may vary in taste, size, nutritional content, and culinary uses.
How did ancient people keep eggs fresh?
In ancient times, placing fresh eggs in lime water helped preserve them because the carbon dioxide emitted by the eggs reacted with the lime water to form calcium carbonate, sealing the microscopic pores on the eggshell surface. Additionally, lime water itself has antimicrobial properties, preventing oxidation and spoilage.
Ancient people preserved eggs for a long time by placing them in a container filled with salt.
eggs in Chinese History
Eggs have a detailed record in Chinese history. They have various aliases, such as “chicken seed” (Han Dynasty), “chicken ovum” (Classic of Mountains and Seas), “chicken bullet” (Jin Ping Mei), “rolling head,” “peeling,” “flipping fruit,” “yellow vegetable” (in the culinary industry), “gogo” (Southwest China), and “raw jade egg” (Japan).
Chicken eggs are further divided into egg white and egg yolk, and ancient people had a deep understanding of this distinction. The Compendium of Materia Medica states: “The egg white has a clear nature and slightly cool properties, while the egg yolk has a turbid nature and warm properties. The egg white can clear qi, treat hidden heat, red eyes, and sore throat. The egg yolk can nourish blood, treat diarrhea, and various disorders related to childbirth.” Egg white can moisten the lungs, benefit the throat, clear heat, and detoxify, making it suitable for those with sore throat, hoarseness, red eyes, or painful swelling due to heat toxins. However, the Dietary Therapy Compendium also cautions against excessive consumption of egg white, as it may cause agitation of the spirit. Egg yolk can nourish yin, moisten dryness, nourish blood, and alleviate wind-related conditions, making it suitable for those with deficiencies, hot diseases causing convulsions, restlessness, insomnia, or uterine bleeding. The famous Ming dynasty physician Li Shizhen said, “The egg yolk has a thick flavor and is capable of nourishing the body. The ancients believed it had similar effects to donkey-hide gelatin (a traditional Chinese medicine).”
However, egg yolk is difficult to digest, so excessive consumption is not recommended. As stated in the Authentic Records of Materia Medica: “Excessive consumption leads to stagnation.”
The discovery of the oldest Chinese eggs dates back 3,000 years. In the Nanjing Museum, there is a jar that holds a particularly unique artifact—a jar of eggs from the Western Zhou Dynasty. The eggs, still covered in soil, are contained within a brown pottery jar. People refer to them as “Western Zhou eggs.” This collection of eggs is believed to be the earliest physical evidence of eggs found in China. Due to concerns about the fragility of the eggshells, archaeologists have not removed the eggs from the pottery jar.
These Western Zhou eggs were unearthed in a Western Zhou tomb located in Jurong City, Jiangsu Province. When the pottery jar was discovered, the eggs inside caught everyone’s attention. The eggs were coated with soil and were roughly the same size as modern-day eggs. Scanning the eggs with specialized instruments revealed that the shells measured only 3.1 to 4.2 centimeters. Protected by the soil, each egg was perfectly preserved within the pottery jar.
The presence of these Western Zhou eggs indicates that eggs were already being used as food during that period. It is worth noting that people during the Western Zhou era had limited resources and lacked many of the food items we enjoy today, such as tea, wine, rice, steamed buns, watermelon, grapes, and even seasonings. So, don’t expect that the people of the Western Zhou Dynasty enjoyed dishes like tomato and egg stir-fry or chives and egg stir-fry.
How did the ancients eat eggs?
As for how ancient people consumed eggs, there is a passage in “A New Account of the Tales of the World” that goes as follows: “Wang Lantian was hot-tempered. Once, while eating a chicken egg, he tried to stab it with chopsticks but failed. This angered him greatly, and he threw the egg to the ground. The egg rolled on the ground without stopping, so he stepped on it with his wooden clogs. Still unable to break it, he became even more furious and bit into it with his teeth until it cracked and then spat it out.” This passage suggests that people during the Jin dynasty might not have peeled the eggshells before eating. Instead, they likely made a small hole and used chopsticks to pick out the contents, similar to how people today consume salted duck eggs. However, this can only indicate the existence of such a method in history. The usual eating method of ancient people and when people began peeling eggshells before consuming them still requires further research and verification.
different types of eggs names
In ancient times, chicken eggs were referred to as “jī zǐ” or “jī luǎn” in Chinese. The term “jī zǐ” is mentioned in the “Hàn Shū” (Book of Han), which was compiled by the historian Ban Gu during the Eastern Han dynasty. The term “jī luǎn” can be found in the book “Lǚshì Chūnqiū” (The Annals of Lü Buwei), specifically in the chapter on “Mingli” (Enlightened Reasoning): “jī luǎn duō fēi” (chicken eggs are often yolk-filled). This indicates that people in ancient times also enjoyed eating chicken eggs. Chicken eggs have various other names in Chinese history, such as “jī zǐ” (Book of Han), “jī luǎn” (Shānhǎi Jīng), “jī dàn” (Jīnpíng Méi), “gǔn tóu,” “bō zhī,” “shuǎi guǒ,” “huáng cài” (culinary industry), “gē gē” (Southwest), and “shēng yù zǐ” (Japan).
eggs symbolism Chinese culture
The symbolism and meaning of eggs in Chinese culture are as follows:
Abundant luck: Eggs are round and when cracked open, they reveal a clean and pure interior. Eating an egg on one’s birthday symbolizes a year filled with flawless fortune and luck.
Smooth and successful: Eggs represent the smooth and successful progression of life. Boiling eggs in cold water, resulting in tender and intact eggs, is believed to bring about a smooth and successful outcome.
Happiness and well-being: On the traditional Chinese festival of Longtaitou (Dragon Head-Raising Day) celebrated on the second day of the second lunar month, eggs are boiled in plain water and consumed, signifying hopes for a bountiful harvest and a year of happiness and well-being for the family.
Eggs symbolize reunion and completeness. They are often referred to as “tuányuán dàn” (reunion eggs) and are an essential dish during the Chinese New Year reunion dinner. Hosts often serve sugar-coated eggs, red eggs, or egg dumplings to guests, symbolizing blessings for abundant wealth in the new year and a harmonious and happy life for everyone.
Symbolic meanings associated with gifting eggs are as follows:
Giving eggs on the third day of the third lunar month: In this tradition observed in Hubei Province, people cook eggs with local vegetables on this day and offer them as gifts to convey good health and ward off misfortunes. It is believed that consuming these special eggs will prevent headaches forever.
Gifting eggs on a baby’s one-month celebration: Giving eggs on a baby’s one-month celebration signifies completeness and joy. This custom has been preserved in many rural areas, where the entire village presents eggs as a gesture of celebration and to express the wish for a harmonious and fulfilling life for the newborn.
Offering eggs during weddings: Presenting eggs during weddings symbolizes a happy and blissful marriage, emphasizing unity and harmony. In many regions, it is customary for the newlyweds to eat eggs on their wedding day, signifying good fortune. The act of someone gifting you eggs on your wedding day represents their well wishes for your happiness.
Gifting eggs to family members: Offering eggs to family members represents hospitality and also signifies the special place you hold in their hearts. Although eggs may not be expensive, their value lies in the sentiment behind the gesture. In many rural areas, it is a common practice to gift eggs to relatives.
“Eating eggs” carries the hope of Chinese people for the continuation of life and the passing down of generations. Children are required to “eat” eggs at the age of one, at eighteen, and during their wedding. On their sixtieth birthday, elaborate celebrations are held. This act of “eating” may seem like a mere physiological satisfaction, but in reality, it signifies a rich psychological significance. The culture of eating has transcended its literal meaning and acquired a deeper social significance. Through cross-cultural exchanges, our culinary culture has developed new characteristics. It now emphasizes not only appearance, aroma, taste, and presentation but also nutrition, representing progress in this era. The traditional practice of serving large quantities of dishes has undergone reform, which is highly commendable. However, in the collision of Chinese culinary culture with cultures worldwide, it is important to have a solid foundation to ensure its improvement and development while maintaining its vitality. I believe that this foundation lies in the outstanding traditional cultural traits, which are the fundamental essence that Chinese culinary culture needs to explore. Therefore, the examination of the fundamental essence of Chinese culinary culture is not only beneficial for the deepening of culinary culture theory but also holds profound significance for Chinese culinary culture’s presence in the global market. In my opinion, the deep essence of Chinese culinary culture can be summarized in four words: refinement, beauty, emotion, and etiquette. These four words reflect the unique cultural significance encompassing food quality, aesthetic experience, emotional activities, social functions, and their close connection with outstanding Chinese traditional culture.
In the darkness of the eggshell, a great life incubated: Pangu. Pangu is a primordial god in Chinese mythology, believed to be the creator of the universe. According to legends from the Tongbai region, Pangu was born from a dragon’s egg and nurtured by the divine dragon. Depictions of Pangu can be found in works such as “Shu Yi Ji,” “Guang Bo Wu Zhi,” “Ji Xian Tian Di Pan Shuo,” and “Kai Pi Yan Yi.”
Historical records from the “San Wu Li Ji” state: “In the chaos of the universe, like an egg, Pangu was born. After eighteen thousand years, the heavens and the earth opened up. The clear became the sky, and the turbid became the earth. Pangu existed within, undergoing nine transformations each day, becoming divine in the heavens and sacred on earth. The sky rose by one zhang, the earth thickened by one zhang, and Pangu grew taller by one zhang. This continued for eighteen thousand years, with the heavens reaching an immense height, the earth reaching an immense depth, and Pangu growing immensely. Afterward, the Three Emperors came into being. Numbers began with one, established with three, completed with five, flourished with seven, and settled with nine. Thus, the sky separated from the earth by ninety thousand li.”
The “Wu Yun Li Nian Ji” states: “The primordial energy was in a state of chaos, and from there, the first sprout emerged. It then divided into the heavens and the earth, creating the foundation of the universe. Yin and yang interacted, distributing the primordial energy, leading to the conception of harmony. From this emerged the firstborn, Pangu, who, in his dying moments, transformed into the essence of wind and clouds, his voice becoming thunder. His left eye became the sun, and his right eye became the moon. His limbs and body formed the four extremes and the five sacred mountains. His blood became rivers and his veins became the geography. His flesh became the fields, and his hair became the stars. His skin and fur became plants and trees, and his teeth and bones became gold and stone. His marrow became pearls and jade, and his sweat turned into rain. All the insects and creatures on his body, influenced by the wind, transformed into the people of the world.”
Over 6,300 years ago, Fuxi, also known as Taihao, ascended Mount Tai and observed extraordinary celestial phenomena such as solar eclipses. He gained insights into the primordial state of the universe, described as “chaos like an egg.” Since there were no written characters at that time, he placed an egg on his seat to symbolize the chaotic state of the heavens and the earth. This chaotic entity had the ability to give birth to the heavens and the earth, and Fuxi believed it originated from Mount Tai, calling it the “Taiji,” which carried the meaning of the primordial Heavenly Emperor. Mount Tai still has the Temple of the Primordial Heavenly Emperor to this day. The pottery unearthed from the Dawenkou cultural site is in the shape of a “chicken,” indicating that imagery preceded the development of writing.
According to mythology, Fuxi is depicted as having a human head and a snake’s body (some sources mention a dragon’s body), suggesting that he may have been an ancient clan leader who revered the snake (or dragon) as the ancestral totem. The region under Fuxi’s domain was in the eastern part of the Central Plains and the Yellow River basin. In ancient paintings and tomb murals found in this area, Fuxi is depicted as the ancestor of humankind. He was an ancient inventor, credited with inventing the Eight Trigrams, the se, musical notation, fishing nets, and more, earning him titles such as the “Progenitor of Kings” and the “Ancestor of Humanity.” Throughout the vast region from the Central Plains to the east, totemic depictions of the mythical bird “Phoenix” can be found, representing the prehistoric stage before the development of writing.
eggs in feng shui
Eggs hold rich symbolism in Feng Shui. According to traditional beliefs, eggs symbolize life and new beginnings, making them widely used in Feng Shui practices. Here is a detailed explanation of the significance of eggs in Feng Shui.
Firstly, eggs are considered lucky symbols in Feng Shui. Traditionally, eggs represent hatching and the start of new life. Therefore, it is common to place several eggs together as decorative items to attract good luck in terms of productivity, prosperity, and achievement.
Secondly, eggs can be used as a tool in Feng Shui layout. In Feng Shui knowledge, there is a method called “applying gua.” Gua is a symbol composed of different combinations of yin and yang. Eggs can represent the balanced state between yin and yang, making them an essential element in Feng Shui arrangements.
Eggs are also commonly used for warding off negative energy. In traditional folklore, eggs are often placed in living spaces or rooms to ward off evil spirits. This is because the streamlined shape and patterns of eggs are believed to have protective properties. In Feng Shui and traditional culture, eggs are often used in conjunction with other common talismans such as tonghua (Chinese parasol tree flowers) and herbs.
Furthermore, eggs can be used to attract wealth. In Feng Shui, eggs are often seen as symbolic representations of prosperity. Therefore, it is common practice to place eggs on display items, furniture arrangements, or even on products for sale in stores to enhance business success and a prosperous destiny.
In summary, eggs hold diverse meanings in Feng Shui. From bringing luck and promoting balance to warding off negativity and attracting wealth, the knowledge of Feng Shui can be applied by utilizing eggs to improve one’s life and development. When we earnestly study and apply Feng Shui principles, even simple practices like placing eggs can have significant impacts.
Folklore states that a single egg can be used to assess the quality of Feng Shui in a burial site.
Required tools and equipment: One fresh egg.
Locate the burial site.
Use a shovel to dig a small hole, approximately 50-100cm deep.
Carefully place the chosen fresh egg into the pit.
Use the excavated soil to backfill the hole in its original order.
Make a mark to indicate the location.
After one year, dig up the egg and examine its freshness.
If the egg has spoiled, it indicates poor Feng Shui in that location.
If the egg remains fresh, it suggests favorable Feng Shui, requiring further verification.
Please note that this method is based on folklore and does not have scientific evidence or support. It is important to approach Feng Shui practices with an understanding of their cultural and traditional significance.
eggs in Yin and Yang
In Yin and Yang philosophy, eggs are often associated with the concept of dualistic balance and harmony. The Yin and Yang symbol, known as Taijitu, represents the interaction and interdependence of opposing forces. Eggs are used to symbolize this duality.
The white part of the egg is considered Yin, representing femininity, softness, darkness, and coldness. It is associated with aspects such as nurturing, intuition, and receptivity.
The yolk of the egg is considered Yang, representing masculinity, strength, brightness, and warmth. It is associated with aspects such as action, assertiveness, and creativity.
Together, the Yin and Yang elements of the egg symbolize the need for balance and harmony between opposing forces. It signifies the interconnectedness and complementarity of these forces in the natural world and the pursuit of equilibrium.
In various cultural traditions, the symbolism of eggs in Yin and Yang philosophy is further extended to represent the cycle of life, fertility, and the potential for transformation and growth.
It’s important to note that interpretations of symbols can vary across different cultures and contexts. The symbolism of eggs in Yin and Yang philosophy may have additional or slightly different meanings depending on the specific cultural beliefs and practices.
eggs Chinese new year
The tradition of eating eggs during the Chinese New Year has been passed down for a long time, and it is a custom in many places to eat eggs during this festive season. People would typically consume either white eggs or preserved eggs. Eating eggs during the New Year brings about a joyful mood, as it symbolizes the anticipation of a prosperous and fulfilling life.
In traditional Chinese culture, there is a custom of eating and gifting eggs during the New Year. Eggs symbolize reunion and harmony, hence they are also known as “reunion eggs” and are an essential dish on the New Year’s Eve dinner table. During the meal, younger generations show filial respect by presenting “reunion eggs” to the elderly, wishing them good health and longevity. When visiting to offer New Year’s greetings, guests often bring “greeting eggs” as a gift, saying “Eggs bring blessings,” expressing their well wishes for the host to have abundant wealth and good luck. Children gather together and sing a nursery rhyme that goes, “Round and round like an egg, celebrating the New Year; when the egg arrives, the whole family smiles.”
There are various customs and traditions associated with eating eggs during the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, boiled eggs are typically consumed, symbolizing family reunion. On the first day of the Lunar New Year, people eat pocket-shaped eggs, and it is customary to eat the egg yolk first, symbolizing a year filled with completeness and prosperity. When visiting others during the New Year, it is customary to bring eggs as a gift, symbolizing the arrival of blessings. Hosts often serve guests with sweetened eggs, red eggs, or egg dumplings, signifying wishes for a prosperous and harmonious life in the new year. Eating eggs during the New Year, and gifting eggs as a gesture of goodwill, represents the desire for a year filled with fulfillment, abundance, and joy. It is a highly auspicious blessing that people enjoy. The auspicious meanings of eggs, such as blessings and completeness, have been widely circulated. The phrase “Eggs bring blessings” has become a popular trend for New Year greetings.
eggs in Chinese birthday
In traditional Chinese culture, eating eggs is considered an auspicious food with symbolic meaning. Ancient people believed that eggs represented longevity and a fulfilling life, symbolizing happiness and contentment. If someone eats eggs on their birthday, they can enjoy this blessing: a wish for longevity, good health, and a happy and fulfilling life in the coming year.
Firstly, the pronunciation of “egg” in Chinese sounds like “dan” and “dan” is associated with “birth” or “birthday.” Therefore, eating eggs symbolizes celebrating one’s own birth. “Dan” also sounds similar to “Duan,” which refers to the first day of the new year, representing the beginning of a new year after one’s birthday. This conveys good wishes and blessings.
Secondly, eggs are oval-shaped and round, symbolizing a complete and fulfilling life. The pronunciation of “egg” in Chinese sounds like “ji,” which is associated with auspiciousness and good fortune. Therefore, eating eggs also represents the desire for a fulfilling and auspicious life, reflecting people’s aspirations and blessings.
Eating an egg on one’s birthday represents the hope that the year ahead will be flawless and, most importantly, that it will roll away like an egg, which is often associated with good luck.
There is a saying that the day of a child’s birthday is the mother’s tough day, and eggs must be consumed in pairs: one for the mother and one for the individual. It is important to wait for the mother to finish before eating one’s own.
The symbolic meanings of eating eggs on birthdays:
Good health and safety: Eating eggs on birthdays symbolizes the wish for a new year of good health and safety, smoothly rolling away any illnesses and disasters. The round shape of eggs signifies rolling away sickness and misfortune, allowing the new year to be spent smoothly and successfully.
Prosperity and success: In some regions of China, birthday eggs are often dyed red, which is considered auspicious. Eating red eggs signifies the hope for a prosperous and successful year, expressing expectations for achievements and accomplishments.
Well-being: Birthday eggs are traditionally popular in rural areas of China, where eggs were considered a nutritious and valuable food during times of scarcity. Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, as well as various nutrients such as B vitamins. Eating eggs on birthdays represents the wish for good health in the new year.
How many eggs are typically boiled for a birthday:
In Chinese culture, we value pairs and even numbers, so when it comes to the number of eggs, the more, the merrier. If it’s just for symbolic purposes, a pair of eggs would suffice. However, our custom is to share the boiled eggs with the birthday celebrant and every relative who attends if it’s a grand celebration. If it’s a celebration within the family, the eggs are shared among family members, similar to sharing a birthday cake. Of course, eggs can also be given as birthday gifts (red eggs). The number of eggs is not determined by the number of individuals but rather the symbolic meaning. In my family, we would boil 6, 16, 36 eggs, and so on.
Chinese wedding eggs
In wedding customs across various regions of China, eggs hold different uses and meanings. However, overall, they are meant to express blessings and hopes for the newlyweds.
In some northern regions, both the bride and groom stick red “xi（喜）” characters on eggs, known as “zhuang yuan” (meaning robust and round). These eggs, along with red dates, peanuts, longans, and melon seeds, are presented to the newlyweds in the bridal chamber for them to eat. The intention behind this practice is to wish for the couple to have an intelligent and outstanding son, referred to as a “zhuang yuan lang.” Each of these foods carries auspicious meanings, such as red dates symbolizing early childbirth (as “dates” sound similar to “early” in Chinese), peanuts symbolizing many children and grandchildren (as “peanuts” sound similar to “giving birth” in Chinese), longans symbolizing family togetherness (as “longan” sounds similar to “reunion” in Chinese), and melon seeds symbolizing joy.
In some southern regions, on the wedding night, before the newlyweds go to bed, they consume “zi cha” (sugar tea eggs) as a way to pray for the early birth of noble children. Zi cha is a sweet tea made with brown sugar and water, with eggs added to it, symbolizing sweetness and generations to come. After consuming zi cha, the couple throws the eggshells onto the roof. If the eggshells stay on the roof, it is believed that they will have a baby boy, and if the eggshells fall down, it signifies the birth of a baby girl. This practice aims to bring good fortune to the couple and wishes for the healthy and joyful growth of their child, regardless of gender.
These customs demonstrate people’s good wishes and expectations for the newlyweds, reflecting the significance and respect for fertility, marriage, and family in Chinese traditional culture. However, with changing times and societal progress, these customs have also undergone some variations and adjustments. For example, some places no longer distinguish between genders but wish for the couple to have healthy and happy children. In certain regions, it is no longer mandatory for the couple to eat eggs or other specific foods, allowing them to decide whether to follow such customs. In some areas, these customs have even become less popular, replaced by more modern and personalized ways of expressing blessings and hopes for the newlyweds. Regardless, it is essential to respect each couple’s choices and preferences, wishing them a happy and fulfilling life together as they create a beautiful future of their own.
Eggs play a significant role in wedding customs and should not be underestimated.
Firstly, colored eggs serve as a subtle way to express one’s affection for the other person. In Jiangxi Xiangdong, if the matchmaker eats egg noodles during a marriage proposal, it indicates that the woman is willing to marry. Conversely, if a bowl of plain soup with less water and white noodles is served, it is a polite refusal from the woman. Among the Zhuang ethnic group, there is a special festival called the “Egg Touching Festival,” which is essentially a matchmaking event.
On the third day of the lunar calendar’s third month, young men and women gather together. Young men use their colored eggs to touch the eggs held by the girls they like. If the girls are interested, they will reveal their eggs. They will hold the eggs in their hands to reject the young men. If an egg breaks during the touch, it is seen as a sign of mutual acceptance, and the couple will share and eat the egg together, creating a unique romantic atmosphere.
Eating Eggs on Wedding Day Custom
On the wedding day, the bride traditionally eats eggs at her parental home in the morning. The bride should eat more but leave some, symbolizing a transition from a poor family to a prosperous one. Conversely, if the bride eats less and leaves more, it signifies a poor household marrying into a wealthier one. It is essential to strike a balance and manage the quantity appropriately.
On the day of the bride’s departure to the groom’s home, there are several important customs to be aware of. For instance, the procession delivering the bride’s dowry should not include her immediate relatives but rather other close relatives. Additionally, it is preferable for the number of people and vehicles in the procession to be even, signifying a harmonious and paired life for the newlyweds. Some regions also have the custom of having a younger brother or cousin from the bride’s side to escort the dowry procession.
Furthermore, when preparing the list of items in the bride’s dowry, certain items such as beds, pots, and clocks are traditionally avoided. While these items have practical value, they carry unfavorable symbolism. Instead, everyday items like bed sheets, blankets, basins, or tea cups can be chosen.
The regional differences can be significant, especially between the northern and southern regions, so it is important to follow the local customs.
The Significance of the Groom Eating Dumplings on His First Visit
In northern regions, there is a saying that holds meaning. Since making dumplings by hand, including kneading the dough and stuffing, is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, serving dumplings to guests is considered a gesture of recognition and respect. Therefore, when the groom visits the bride’s family for the first time and is served dumplings, it indicates that he is highly valued.
The Symbolism of the Groom Eating Eggs on His First Visit
Customs and traditions vary across different regions. In some areas, serving boiled eggs to the groom when he visits represents approval, satisfaction, respect, and welcome towards him.
In Han Zhong, a city in China, there is a common custom where, after the marriage relationship is established, the prospective groom visits the bride’s family for the first time. The bride’s mother must prepare “荷包蛋” (hebao dan, pocket-shaped eggs) for the prospective groom to eat. This signifies approval and is the highest level of reception given by the bride’s family. Therefore, this is also known as “love eggs.”
Please note that the translation provided above is a general interpretation of the customs mentioned. Specific details and variations may exist within different regions and local practices.
red eggs meaning
Red eggs symbolize the blessing of children and good fortune. In Chinese folklore, there has always been a tradition of sharing and consuming red eggs, mainly to celebrate the birth of a child or to pray for offspring. Red eggs are ordinary eggs that have been dyed red using color pigments. They are a popular way of expressing celebration in various joyous occasions such as weddings and childbirth. Red eggs dyed with color pigments are distributed to relatives and friends as a way to congratulate and wish for good luck.
What does a red egg represent? What is the meaning of a red egg?
In Chinese folk tradition, there is a popular folk rhyme that goes: “Red eggs, a string on the face, eating your auspicious bread, eating your red eggs.” “Auspicious bread” refers to a traditional festive food associated with weddings, and it is believed that bringing this bread home and having family members eat it brings good luck.
Therefore, this rhyme is a blessing. From a literal interpretation, the two instances of “red eggs” at the beginning and end have different meanings. The first “red eggs” symbolize a sacred object with the power to bless and pray for children. The latter “red eggs” represent the joyful announcement of a child’s birth and serve as a declaration.
The tradition of sharing red eggs exists among many ethnic groups in various regions, and there are several main viewpoints regarding its significance: the myth of egg-laying creatures, the belief in auspicious objects, totem worship, fertility worship, and warding off evil and disaster.
Red eggs have different symbolic meanings in traditional Chinese culture. Here is a specific explanation:
Celebration and Congratulations: Red eggs, as a red-colored food, are closely associated with celebratory and congratulatory events in Chinese traditional culture, such as weddings, baby’s full month celebration, and birthdays.
Vitality and Energy Boost: Red eggs are nutritionally rich and beneficial for the body. They are particularly suitable for individuals who are physically weak, anemic, or recovering from childbirth, as they can enhance vitality and replenish energy.
Longevity and Prosperity: In Chinese traditional culture, the chicken is a symbol of auspiciousness and good fortune. Red eggs, being a type of chicken egg, carry this symbolism and are used to pray for longevity, prosperity, and good luck.
In summary, red eggs symbolize celebration, vitality restoration, and wishes for longevity and prosperity.
According to the findings of archaeologists, the practice of coloring eggshells red can be traced back to the Western Jin Dynasty, approximately 1,700 years ago, where 14 red-colored eggs were discovered in tombs located in the Jili District of Luoyang, Henan Province. This discovery bears similarities to the prevalent rural custom of “red eggs” in present-day China.
Since ancient times, the color “red” has symbolized celebration and liveliness, while the word for “chicken” sounds similar to the word for “auspicious” in Chinese. By connecting the concepts of celebration and auspiciousness, eggs are dyed red using colored pigments, thus creating “red eggs” that symbolize a joyous and prosperous life with children and grandchildren.
There are different interpretations related to the primitive reverence for “eggs” in ancient folklore. Folk traditions associate eggs with birth and the continuation of one’s lineage. Additionally, the color red is considered auspicious and propitious in folk culture, hence the preference for red-colored eggs.
An example of the significance of red eggs in folklore is the story of “Liu Bei’s Bridal Proposal.” During the Three Kingdoms period, the kingdom of Wu wanted to reclaim the territory of Jingzhou, which was under Liu Bei’s control. Zhou Yu devised a plan: a false bridal proposal to detain Liu Bei in Wu. When Liu Bei arrived in Wu to marry the princess, Zhou Yu intended to keep him there and not allow his return to Jingzhou.
However, Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei’s strategist, saw through the plan. He instructed Zhao Yun to bring piles of red eggs as gifts and accompany Liu Bei to Wu. Upon their arrival, they presented red eggs to everyone, claiming it was a custom of the Han Dynasty symbolizing the joyous union between Liu Bei and Lady Sun, as well as an early blessing for the Wu family to have grandchildren. The news spread, and people in Wu eagerly sought red eggs to share in the auspiciousness.
Upon hearing the news, Lady Sun was thrilled and urged Sun Quan to arrange the wedding immediately. Sun Quan, who initially devised the scheme, was caught off guard by the unexpected turn of events, leading to the proverbial saying “losing the wife and losing the soldiers.” After the bridal proposal and the exchange of red eggs, the couple needed to take good care of their child as they grew up.
After the baby’s first month, a celebration called “Full Month Banquet” is held, inviting relatives and friends to share blessings. When the child turns one year old, some places hold a “grabbing the object” ceremony, symbolizing the hope that the child will pursue a respectable career and enjoy a lifetime of honor and dignity.
In times of material scarcity, eggs were considered a nutritious food. When a family had a newborn, neighbors would bring eggs to the new mother, hoping that she would have sufficient nutrition and the baby would have enough breast milk to drink.
Following the principle of reciprocity, the family of the new mother would immediately dye eggs red using colored pigments and share them with relatives and friends, symbolizing the joy of the new addition to the family, celebrating the occasion, and wishing for good fortune.
egg in Chinese funeral
In the final stages of life, eggs continue to play an important role on the stage.
The customs surrounding the use of eggs in funerals vary in different regions, but a common practice is to place a bowl of rice in front of the coffin, insert three chopsticks, and place two eggs on top. These eggs are called “reversed eggs.” According to traditional beliefs, they can protect future generations and bring them good fortune.
Of course, in some places, the tradition of eating two eggs at once also originates from this practice.
As for certain ethnic minorities, eggs serve as vessels for the wishes of the deceased.
For example, among the Dai ethnic group, when selecting a burial site, filial children hold eggs and pray in front of the deceased. They pray that the soul of the departed can follow their own chosen burial site. Afterward, they can enter the “Long Forest” (graveyard) and throw their eggs on the ground. If the eggs break, it proves that the deceased willingly chose that location; otherwise, they must find another place.
If the broken eggs happen to land on someone else’s grave, they must dig up the old coffin and replace the deceased.
What perplexes archaeologists is the presence of eggs in ancient tombs. In fact, there are two very important reasons for this:
The first reason is that ancient people hoped to enjoy delicious eggs even after their passing. Therefore, before their death, they would instruct their family to place eggs in their tombs.
The second reason is related to the temperature of the burial chamber and its suitability for long-term preservation of the body. If eggs hatch into chicks inside the tomb, it indicates that the tomb has favorable conditions, allowing the body to be preserved for a long time. Even if it becomes a mummy, it will not decay or attract insects.
egg fortune telling
In some regions of China, there is a practice known as “egg burning” for divination and healing purposes, which can be observed in Jiangxi, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou, and other places. Initially, burning eggs was primarily used for treating illnesses and later became employed by some individuals for fortune-telling. Consequently, the purpose and process of egg burning can vary significantly across different locations.
In terms of purpose, it can be categorized into two types:
Healing: Eggs are mainly used to aid children or adults who have experienced fright or soul loss. Consuming a burnt egg is believed to bring improvement (similar to the practice of using chopsticks or showing respect to dogs and cats). In some areas, burnt eggs are also used to treat common ailments such as headaches, fatigue, colds, fevers, eczema, and leg or foot pain.
Divination and fortune-telling: Egg burners assess the condition and fortune of individuals who come for egg burning based on the appearance and patterns formed by the burnt eggs and their shells.
The process of egg burning also exhibits significant variations:
For healing purposes, a common method is “red string egg burning.” A red string is tied around the eggshell, and it is placed on a stove to be burnt with firewood. After the egg is thoroughly cooked, if the red string remains unbroken, it confirms that the person has been frightened. By consuming this egg, the person’s condition is believed to improve.
The practice of tying a red string around the eggshell and burning it with firewood, where the red string remains unbroken, may have been regarded as a miracle in ancient times. However, it is simply a physical phenomenon that can be achieved through proper technique and timing, based on the principles of heat transfer (e.g., pouring water into a container made of oil paper and heating it with fire, resulting in boiling water while the paper remains intact).
Consuming the cooked egg is believed to bring improvement due to factors such as mental power, the power of belief, and faith-based healing methods, which are fundamental aspects of shamanic medicine. Initially, in addition to consuming the burnt egg, egg burners would use other medicinal herbs and prescriptions, and some would perform massage and manipulation techniques to assist in the patient’s recovery.
The essence of a shaman is still that of a healer, dedicated to treating illnesses and saving lives.
However, the knowledge of complementary herbal prescriptions and massage techniques has largely been lost over time, while the simplicity of burning and consuming eggs has allowed the practice to endure.
The process of egg burning for divination and fortune-telling is more complex. It begins with purchasing eggs from the egg burner, who inquires about the seeker’s name, date of birth, and purpose for seeking the egg burning. The burner then uses a lit incense stick to draw circles and characters above the egg, reciting incantations. Subsequently, the egg, incense, and paper money are buried in a charcoal-filled iron pot, which is heated without direct flame.
In some regions, the eggs are burned together with the seeker’s date of birth, while in others, they are not.
After the eggs have been burned, the egg burner, often an elderly lady, interprets the condition and fortune of the seeker based on the appearance of the burnt eggs and the patterns on their shells.
If the shape of the burnt egg is intact and the shell easily peels off, it indicates that the illness can improve or that luck is favorable. On the other hand, if the shape of the egg is distorted, cracked, collapsed, exploded, or if the shell is difficult to peel off, it suggests a severe illness or a troubled destiny.
eggs in the five elements
In Chinese culture, the concept of the five elements (五行, wǔ xíng) is a fundamental principle used to understand the relationships and interactions between different phenomena in the natural world. Each element—Wood (木, mù), Fire (火, huǒ), Earth (土, tǔ), Metal (金, jīn), and Water (水, shuǐ)—is associated with certain characteristics, seasons, colors, directions, and more. While eggs themselves are not specifically associated with the five elements, we can explore how they might be related to each element based on their characteristics:
Wood (木, mù): Wood represents growth, flexibility, and vitality. Eggs, as a source of life and potential, can be associated with the Wood element’s energy of new beginnings and growth.
Fire (火, huǒ): Fire symbolizes transformation, passion, and energy. When eggs are cooked or heated, they undergo a transformation, which can be seen as a representation of the Fire element’s transformative qualities.
Earth (土, tǔ): Earth represents stability, nurturing, and grounding. Eggs, as a product of the Earth through hens and their connection to fertility, can be associated with the nurturing and grounding aspects of the Earth element.
Metal (金, jīn): Metal is associated with structure, organization, and clarity. Eggs, with their smooth and rounded shape, can be seen as embodying the harmonious and structured qualities of the Metal element.
Water (水, shuǐ): Water symbolizes flow, adaptability, and wisdom. Eggs, with their liquid interior, can be seen as representing the flowing and adaptable nature of the Water element.
It’s important to note that these associations are based on symbolic interpretations and may vary depending on the cultural context and individual beliefs.
eggs in Chinese medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), eggs are referred to as “jī zǐ” (鸡子) and can be divided into two parts: egg white and egg yolk. Eggs are also considered a type of Chinese herbal medicine. From a TCM perspective, eggs have various medicinal properties, including nourishing Yin and moisturizing dryness, nourishing the blood and supporting pregnancy, detoxifying and relieving itching, and nourishing the heart and calming the mind. They can be used in the treatment of conditions such as palpitations, insomnia, sore throat, burns, and skin ulcers, as well as for pregnant women experiencing threatened miscarriage.
Egg white is rich in protein, while egg yolk contains not only protein but also fats, riboflavin, vitamin A, as well as trace elements like calcium and phosphorus. Eggs have high nutritional value.
eggs in Chinese food
Eggs play a significant role in Chinese cuisine and are used in various dishes. Here are some popular ways eggs are prepared in Chinese food:
Scrambled Eggs (炒蛋): Eggs are lightly beaten and then stir-fried with various ingredients like vegetables, meat, or seafood. It is a common dish served in both home-cooked meals and restaurants.
Egg Drop Soup (蛋花汤): This is a simple and comforting soup made by slowly pouring beaten eggs into hot broth, creating delicate egg ribbons. It is often flavored with ingredients like mushrooms, tofu, and scallions.
Tea Eggs (茶叶蛋): Hard-boiled eggs are cracked gently, then simmered in a mixture of tea, soy sauce, and spices, giving them a marbled appearance and a unique flavor.
Steamed Egg Custard (蒸蛋羹): Eggs are beaten with water or broth and then steamed until set, resulting in a silky smooth custard-like texture. It can be enjoyed plain or topped with ingredients like minced meat, shrimp, or vegetables.
Salted Duck Egg (咸鸭蛋): Duck eggs are preserved in a mixture of salt and sometimes other ingredients, resulting in a briny and richly flavored egg. They are often used in stir-fried dishes, mooncakes, or as a condiment.
Thousand-Year-Old Eggs (皮蛋): Also known as century eggs or preserved eggs, these eggs are made by preserving chicken, duck, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice straw for several weeks or months. The process transforms the egg, resulting in a unique and pungent flavor. They are commonly used in congee, salads, or as a topping for tofu dishes.
These are just a few examples of how eggs are utilized in Chinese cuisine. Eggs are versatile ingredients that add texture, flavor, and nutritional value to many dishes in Chinese cooking.
Egg Fried Rice
Egg fried rice is a common dish in Chinese cuisine. The earliest recorded mention of it can be traced back to the bamboo slips unearthed from the Ma Wang Dui Han Tomb in Changsha, Hunan Province in 1972, which contained information about “luan xiong.” According to experts’ research, “luan xiong” refers to a food made with sticky rice and eggs. Some speculate that this could be the precursor to egg fried rice. Eggs are rich in protein, and furthermore, they are a good source of vitamins A and B.
tomato with eggs
Tomato and Egg Stir-Fry typically refers to the dish made with tomatoes and eggs. It is a common home-cooked dish in Chinese cuisine. The main ingredients include eggs, tomatoes, cooking oil, salt, water, light soy sauce, monosodium glutamate (MSG), chopped green onions, white granulated sugar, and oyster sauce.
Egg Dumplings, also known as Egg-filled Dumplings, are a delicious food made with fillings such as fresh shrimp, pork, or beef, wrapped in egg wrappers. They have a savory taste, are nutritionally rich, and suitable for people of all ages. Eggs have a sweet flavor and neutral nature, providing benefits such as nourishing the heart, calming the mind, replenishing blood, and moisturizing dryness. The key to making egg dumplings lies in the egg wrapper, and although it requires some skill, it is not overly difficult. The technique involves pouring the egg mixture into a spoon and evenly rotating it over heat until cooked.
China’s vast territory has different regional names for developing eggs, also known as “喜蛋” (xi dan) in some places. The various names for these eggs include “鸡胚蛋” (ji pei dan), “鸡胎蛋” (ji tai dan), “凤凰蛋” (feng huang dan), “旺鸡蛋” (wang ji dan), “寡蛋” (gua dan), “毛蛋” (mao dan), and others. There is a popular saying that goes, “If a chicken fails to hatch after 21 days, it’s a bad egg.” The term “bad egg” carries a negative connotation. In Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jianghuai regions, people refer to these eggs as “喜蛋” (xi dan), which sounds more elegant. However, due to the varied and diverse names, let’s differentiate the “喜蛋” (xi dan) further. In Shanghai, Zhejiang, and central Jiangsu, they are called “喜蛋” (xi dan). In northern Jiangsu, they are known as “毛蛋” (mao dan), while in Shandong, they are called “鸡胚蛋” (ji pei dan). In southern Fujian, they are referred to as “鸡仔胎” (ji zai tai), and in Henan, they are known as “毛蛋” (mao dan). Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, and other places call them “寡蛋” (gua dan), and so on.
Traditionally, “喜蛋” (xi dan) can be categorized into “死鸡胚” (si ji pei) and “活胚” (huo pei), which are essentially regular developing eggs and live developing eggs, respectively. The eggs that fail to hatch after 21 days are referred to as “毛蛋” (mao dan), “坏蛋” (huai dan), “黑寡蛋” (hei gua dan), or “旺鸡蛋” (wang ji dan). The live developing eggs that are specifically incubated for 13-15 days are called “活喜蛋” (huo xi dan) or “活珠子” (huo zhu zi) in Jiangsu dialect. There is also a type called “混蛋” (hun dan), which refers to unfertilized eggs that develop into scattered yolk eggs after incubation.
eggs in Chinese festival
Eggs are consumed on birthdays, during the Qingming Festival, Tea Eggs and Salted Eggs are eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, and Egg and Shepherd’s Purse Dumplings are consumed on the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month. In addition, it is customary to eat eggs during the beginning of summer. The tradition of “eating eggs on the start of summer” has a long history. There is a saying, “Eating eggs on the start of summer prevents summer ailments.” It is believed that from the day of the start of summer, the weather becomes warm and gradually hot, leading to physical fatigue, weakness in limbs, decreased appetite, and gradual weight loss, known as “summer ailments.” Ancient people believed that eggs, with their round shape, symbolize the completeness of life. Eating eggs on the start of summer is a prayer for a safe summer and to withstand the test of “summer ailments.” The start of summer usually falls in the fourth month of the lunar calendar, known as “April when eggs are as cheap as vegetables.” People would cook eggs in leftover “Seven-Family Tea” to make “Tea Eggs.” Later, the cooking method was improved by adding fennel, braised meat sauce, cinnamon, and ginger to the “Seven-Family Tea.” As a result, Tea Eggs became not only a seasonal food for the start of summer but also one of China’s traditional snacks.
why qingming eat eggs in China
There are three origins of eating eggs during the Qingming Festival:
Firstly, it originated from the ancient Shangsi Festival. In order to pray for a happy marriage and fertility, people would boil eggs such as chicken eggs, duck eggs, and bird eggs, then paint them with various colors to create “colorful eggs.” These eggs would be thrown into the river and carried downstream, where women eagerly caught and peeled them to eat, hoping for a “good pregnancy.”
Secondly, one or two days before the Qingming Festival is the Cold Food Festival, during which fires are prohibited. Boiled eggs are the best food for sustenance during this time. Folk customs believe that eating eggs during Qingming ensures good health for the entire year.
Thirdly, eating eggs during the Qingming Festival is a way for people to express reverence for life. Eggs symbolize the nurturing of life in ancient cultures. According to legends, the universe was once in chaos like an egg, and the birth of Pangu, who created the world, came from the egg. In Chinese mythology, the mother of the founder of the Shang Dynasty, Qi, consumed the egg of a dark bird before giving birth to him.
Apart from eating eggs, various egg-related customs are practiced during Qingming. Some places have customs such as “egg painting,” “egg bumping,” and “egg tapping.” Egg painting involves drawing patterns or coloring on eggs, while egg bumping or egg tapping is a game where children clash their boiled eggs together to see whose egg remains intact, in the hopes of gaining good luck.
why does dragon boat festival eat eggs?
Eating eggs during the Dragon Boat Festival serves two purposes. On one hand, it is done for auspiciousness, praying for a year free from illness. On the other hand, it is done to improve one’s life.
Regarding the custom of eating boiled eggs during the Dragon Boat Festival, folklore suggests that eating eggs brings vitality. The egg’s shape resembles a heart, and ancient people believed that consuming eggs would help preserve one’s vitality. Eating eggs during the Dragon Boat Festival, similar to eating sticky rice dumplings (zongzi), is an important tradition of the festival. The round shape of the eggs symbolizes abundance, harmony, life, reunion, and good fortune. Eggs are also believed to ward off evil spirits and protect one’s safety, adding to the significant symbolism of eating eggs during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Therefore, on this day of the Dragon Boat Festival, eating a boiled egg is like sharing the joy of reunion, conveying blessings of life, and inviting the presence of peace, health, and good luck.
There are two reasons for giving salted duck eggs during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Firstly, it is believed that eating duck eggs during the Dragon Boat Festival helps to replenish the body during the hot summer weather.
Secondly, it is related to the custom of consuming “Wuhuang” (five yellows) during the festival. May is considered a month of toxins, with hot and dry weather that attracts various mosquitoes, insects, and rodents. The egg shape resembles a heart, and consuming a salted duck egg during the Dragon Boat Festival is believed to promote good health, vitality, and resistance to illness.
Please note that while these beliefs exist in Chinese culture, the scientific validity of these claims is not established.
why the beginning of summer eats eggs?
During the solar term of “Lixia,” there are various traditional activities and customs in Chinese folklore, such as tasting “Sanxian” (three fresh vegetables), egg dueling, and name calling. These activities not only allow people to experience the atmosphere of early summer but also serve as prayers for a bountiful and auspicious harvest. There is a folk saying, “Eat eggs on Lixia, and you won’t suffer from summer heat.”
First, let’s understand what “Zhu Xia” (疰夏) means. It is a term used in traditional Chinese medicine and commonly known as “Summer Malaise.” It refers to common conditions of fatigue and weakness caused by hot weather during summer. According to ancestral beliefs, eating eggs on Lixia can prevent such symptoms. However, from a scientific perspective, it cannot be proven that eating Lixia eggs can prevent summer malaise. Nevertheless, the health philosophy it represents is worth learning from and contemplating.
Spring Equinox Standing Egg custom in china
“春分立蛋” generally refers to the tradition of “standing eggs during the Spring Equinox.” It is a popular folk game that takes place on the day of the Spring Equinox each year. This Chinese custom has also spread to other countries and become known as the “World Egg Standing Game.” The ancestors of the Chinese nation started celebrating the arrival of spring through this activity, and the saying “春分到，蛋儿俏” (chūn fēn dào, dàn ér qiào) began to circulate.
what should i eat my eggs with
Eggs are a commonly used ingredient in daily life and can be paired with various foods such as spinach, chives, milk, pumpkin, shrimp, tomatoes, and carrots to provide good nutritional supplementation.
The main components of eggs are protein and fat, while spinach or chives contain a significant amount of dietary fiber. When consumed together, dietary fiber can promote gastrointestinal motility and aid in the digestion and absorption of proteins and fats, helping to prevent bloating and constipation. Additionally, eggs have relatively low vitamin content, whereas tomatoes or carrots contain some vitamin C and vitamin B. Consuming them together can provide a more balanced nutritional intake.
Translation: Eggs are a common ingredient in daily life and can be paired with a variety of foods such as spinach, chives, milk, pumpkin, shrimp, tomatoes, and carrots to provide adequate nutrition.
The main components of eggs are protein and fat, while spinach or chives are rich in dietary fiber. When consumed together, dietary fiber can promote gastrointestinal movement, aiding in the digestion and absorption of proteins and fats, and helping to prevent bloating and constipation. Moreover, eggs have a lower vitamin content, whereas tomatoes or carrots contain some vitamin C and vitamin B. Consuming them together can provide a more balanced nutritional profile.
eggs and what are they against
Eggs should not be consumed together with foods such as persimmons, white sugar, and rabbit meat, as they can potentially increase the burden on the digestive system and lead to gastrointestinal disorders.
Firstly, persimmons contain a certain amount of tannic acid, while eggs are rich in protein. Consuming them together may result in insufficient digestion in the stomach, leading to gastrointestinal disorders characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Secondly, white sugar contains a significant amount of fructose lysine, while eggs contain abundant amino acids. When combined, they can form precipitates in the stomach, further burdening the digestive system. Therefore, they should not be consumed together.
Additionally, eggs should not be consumed with rabbit meat. In traditional Chinese medicine, both eggs and rabbit meat are considered “cold” foods. Consuming them together can stimulate the gastric mucosa and lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea.
eggs in Taoism
Bao Jia Xian, Bao Jia Tangkou, or Chu Ma Tangkou all have similar offerings. Generally, the four main offerings usually consist of chicken, fish, meat, and eggs. Bao Jia Xian typically offers three eggs, usually raw. On the other hand, Chu Ma Tangkou usually offers nine eggs, either four raw and five cooked, or four cooked and five raw, arranged on a plate.
Xianjia is a term used by immortals in Chinese mythology and Taoism to refer to themselves. Within Taoism, it is also used to respectfully address benevolent ghosts and spirits. Xianjia are mostly associated with Taoism but can also be associated with Daoism. Although Taoism and Daoism have the same origin, they differ in practice.
Among the Five Great Families, the folk reverence is particularly strong for the Fox Immortal, Yellow Immortal, and White Immortal. There are many legends and stories about their supernatural abilities, often associating them with Hu San Taiye, Huang Er Daye, and Bai Lao Ta Tai.
Seeking Wealth with Raw Eggshells
In the traditional Taoist practices of wealth accumulation, there is a method called “Seeking Wealth with Raw Eggshells.” The procedure involves taking a thoroughly cleaned egg and finding a way to separate the egg white and yolk while preserving the intact eggshell. Then, the inside of the eggshell is cleaned. Next, a piece of red paper is used to write down one’s wishes for wealth and blessings. The red paper is placed inside the raw eggshell along with some fingernails and strands of hair. After completing this process, one can find a rushing river or stream to release the eggshell. In the consciousness, this symbolic river connects with the rivers in the sky, allowing one to express their desires to the immortals.
Altering Home Feng Shui
In many cases, a person’s financial luck may be affected by the natural environment and principles of Feng Shui in their daily living space. Home Feng Shui involves various aspects such as the positioning of the bed, fabric sofas, wooden cabinets, and dining tables, which should all have proper backing support. It is important to avoid negative Feng Shui elements such as door-to-door alignment or sharp corners. Therefore, if one wants to determine if their fortune is influenced by Feng Shui, it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional expert. With the help of a knowledgeable practitioner, altering the Feng Shui of one’s living environment becomes a high-quality Taoist method for wealth accumulation
eggs in Confucianism
In Confucianism, eggs do not hold a specific or prominent significance in religious or philosophical teachings. Confucianism primarily focuses on ethical and moral principles, social relationships, and proper conduct in various aspects of life. The emphasis is on cultivating virtues such as filial piety, loyalty, honesty, and respect for elders and ancestors.
While eggs may be consumed as a part of daily meals and celebrations in Confucian-influenced cultures, their significance is more related to culinary traditions and cultural practices rather than religious or philosophical beliefs. Eggs are valued for their nutritional content and are often used in traditional dishes and festive celebrations.
It’s important to note that Confucianism is a complex and multifaceted philosophy, and interpretations and practices may vary across different regions and individuals. However, eggs themselves do not hold a specific symbolic or ritualistic significance within the teachings of Confucianism.
eggs in Buddhism
There are several reasons for consuming eggs in temples:
In Buddhism, eggs are considered “motionless” food that can reduce one’s desires. They are also seen as “non-cruel” food, making them permissible to eat.
Eggs serve as a significant protein source for vegetarians, making them highly regarded as a food item in Buddhism.
Additionally, eggs are one of the most common food items found in Buddhist temples because they are versatile in cooking and can be used to prepare various vegetarian dishes.
It is important to note that in Buddhism, there are specific regulations regarding the consumption of eggs. They are usually consumed in specific rituals and occasions, and it is important to respect the lives and feelings of animals. Therefore, in daily life, we should abide by the teachings of Buddhism, respect life, protect the environment, and collectively create a harmonious society.
Egg carving is a traditional folk craft that involves carving and engraving on the shells of bird eggs. It combines elements of painting and sculpting, showcasing various exquisite patterns through techniques such as relief carving, intaglio carving, positive carving, openwork carving, and hollowing. In recent years, it has gained popularity.
Also known as “painted eggs” in colloquial terms, involves disinfecting the shells of chicken or duck eggs and painting them with various designs. The paintings can be categorized into three main themes: landscapes, flowers and birds, and figures. The artwork on the egg shells is fresh, concise, and delicate, displaying a charming and adorable aesthetic. By positioning the eggs upright, viewers can appreciate the three-dimensional effect from all angles. These compositions are often enclosed in exquisite glass frames, adding to their unique charm. Egg carving is produced in various counties, cities, and districts such as Chengdu in Sichuan province, Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, and locations like Lucheng, Ruian, Pingyang, and Cangnan. Many of these products are exported.
During the Qing Dynasty, eggs had become quite inexpensive. In Li Yuanbo’s “Notes from the Southern Pavilion” towards the end of the Qing Dynasty, there is an interesting anecdote about Emperor Guangxu’s fondness for eggs. The young Emperor Guangxu had a particular liking for eggs and would eat four of them every day. At that time, four eggs would only cost around twelve or thirteen copper coins. However, due to the corruption and darkness within the imperial court, even the expenses of the emperor were exploited. The Imperial Kitchen dared to charge a staggering thirty-four taels of silver for the four eggs. On one occasion, Emperor Guangxu casually discussed this with his teacher, Weng Tonghe, saying, “Eggs are so delicious, but they are so expensive. Master Weng, can you afford to eat them?” Weng Tonghe, well aware of the shady dealings and the inner workings of the palace, where the miscellaneous staff would inflate the prices, couldn’t openly speak about it and could only make an excuse, saying, “Your Majesty, in my household, we may use them occasionally for grand ceremonies. Otherwise, we dare not.” So, how much did Emperor Guangxu spend on eggs in a year? To tell you the truth, it would amount to twelve thousand four hundred and ten taels of silver.
double egg yolk meaning Chinese
Double-yolked eggs are a unique type of eggs that typically contain two yolks within a single shell. They are often much larger than regular eggs. In Chinese folklore, “double-yolked eggs” are considered auspicious and fortunate food. The double yolks symbolize double the good luck, and in Chinese culture, people are fond of things that come in pairs. Expressions like “good things come in pairs” and “a pair of good things” are used to describe positive events. Therefore, double-yolked eggs are associated with positive meanings, signifying a good start. Additionally, double yolks are also seen as a symbol of achieving a perfect score of 100. When parents give double-yolked eggs to their children, it is a wish for them to excel academically and score top marks in exams. It also represents the concept of “good things come in pairs.” For single men and women, it symbolizes the hope that they will find a life partner and achieve double happiness by getting married. Overall, double-yolked eggs are seen as a symbol of good fortune and happiness.
egg yolk moon
A yolk moon is an optical phenomenon that occurs between the sun and the moon. When there is a thin layer of ice crystals between the moon and the sun, the sunlight from the sun that reaches the lunar surface is reflected back by this layer of ice crystals. The resulting reflection forms a refractive mirror within the sun’s rays. The moon appears as the reflected sunlight, composed of several colors. If visibility is low, the moonlight has to pass through a thicker atmospheric layer compared to when the moon is higher in the sky, resulting in a certain color variation. The appearance of a yolk moon is attributed to this phenomenon.
Egg related idioms
“Chickens have flown away, eggs have been smashed.” This phrase metaphorically represents a situation where everything has gone to waste and there is nothing to gain.
“Killing the chicken to get the egg” is a Chinese idiom pronounced as “shā jī qǔ dàn.” It metaphorically refers to sacrificing long-term benefits for immediate and insignificant gains. The origin of this idiom can be traced back to Aesop’s Fables, specifically the story of “The Hen That Laid the Golden Eggs.”
“The egg striking the stone” is a Chinese idiom pronounced as “yǐ luǎn jī shí.” It originates from the historical allusion in the book “Xunzi” by Xun Kuang during the Warring States period.
The idiom “the egg striking the stone” metaphorically means using an egg to strike a stone, indicating an act of underestimating one’s own strength and seeking self-destruction. It is typically used as a predicate, modifier, or object in a sentence and carries a negative connotation.
The idiom’s origin can be found in Xun Kuang’s “Xunzi – Discussion on Military Affairs”: “To rely on Jie to be like Yao is like using an egg to strike a stone or using a finger to curl boiling water.”
eggs vs Noodle
Eggs and noodles hold significant cultural symbolism in Chinese culture. Here are some aspects related to eggs and noodles:
Fertility and new beginnings: Eggs are associated with fertility and the creation of new life. They symbolize growth, birth, and new beginnings.
Good luck and prosperity: Eggs are often seen as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. During festivals or special occasions, such as Chinese New Year, eggs are included in various dishes and offerings.
Symbol of family unity: Eggs represent family unity and harmony. They are commonly included in celebratory meals to reinforce family bonds and promote togetherness.
Longevity and longevity noodles: Noodles are a symbol of longevity and are often served during birthdays and other celebrations. The long and unbroken noodles represent a wish for a long and prosperous life.
Unity and togetherness: Noodles, particularly in dishes like “longevity noodles” or “birthday noodles,” symbolize the binding together of family and friends. They are shared during meals to promote unity and strengthen relationships.
Prosperity and abundance: Noodles are associated with abundance and wealth. Their long and continuous shape represents unending prosperity and the accumulation of wealth.
Both eggs and noodles play important roles in Chinese cuisine and culture, representing various auspicious meanings and cultural values.
eggs vs dumpling
Eggs and dumplings are both significant food items in Chinese culture, each with its own cultural significance:
Symbol of fertility and new life: Eggs are associated with fertility and the creation of new life. They symbolize growth, birth, and new beginnings.
Represent good luck and prosperity: Eggs are often considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity. They are included in festive dishes and offerings during special occasions like Chinese New Year.
Signify family unity: Eggs are a representation of family unity and harmony. They are commonly included in celebratory meals to reinforce family bonds and promote togetherness.
Symbolize wealth and abundance: Dumplings are often associated with wealth and abundance due to their round shape resembling ancient Chinese currency. Eating dumplings during festivals or special occasions is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune.
Promote unity and togetherness: Making and eating dumplings is a communal activity in Chinese culture. Families and friends gather to wrap dumplings together, symbolizing unity and strengthening relationships.
Celebrate festivals and traditions: Dumplings are a traditional food during Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival. They are considered an essential part of the celebrations and are believed to bring blessings for the coming year.
Both eggs and dumplings hold cultural significance in Chinese cuisine and traditions, representing auspicious meanings such as fertility, prosperity, family unity, and cultural celebrations.
eggs vs tangyuan
Eggs and Tangyuan (汤圆) are both significant food items in Chinese culture, each with its own cultural significance:
Symbol of fertility and new life: Eggs are associated with fertility and the creation of new life. They symbolize growth, birth, and new beginnings.
Represent good luck and prosperity: Eggs are often considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity. They are included in festive dishes and offerings during special occasions like Chinese New Year.
Signify family unity: Eggs are a representation of family unity and harmony. They are commonly included in celebratory meals to reinforce family bonds and promote togetherness.
Symbolize family reunion: Tangyuan, also known as sweet rice dumplings, are round glutinous rice balls usually filled with sweet fillings such as sesame or red bean paste. They are traditionally eaten during the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations, symbolizing family reunion and togetherness.
Represent unity and harmony: Tangyuan are made by rolling and shaping the dough into round balls, signifying unity and harmony within the family and society.
Bring good fortune and blessings: The round shape of Tangyuan is associated with completeness and perfection, and it is believed that eating Tangyuan during the Lantern Festival will bring good fortune and blessings for the coming year.
Both eggs and Tangyuan have cultural significance in Chinese cuisine and traditions. While eggs symbolize fertility, good luck, and family unity, Tangyuan represents family reunion, unity, and bringing good fortune and blessings. They are both enjoyed during important festivals and occasions, carrying auspicious meanings and fostering cultural connections.
eggs vs moon
Eggs and the moon are both culturally significant symbols in Chinese culture, each with its own unique meanings:
Fertility and new life: In Chinese culture, eggs are often associated with fertility, as they represent the potential for new life and growth. They are seen as a symbol of birth and renewal.
Good luck and prosperity: Eggs are considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity. During Chinese New Year, eggs are often dyed red to bring good fortune and blessings for the coming year.
Harmony and unity: Eggs also symbolize harmony and unity within the family. They are often included in celebratory meals and offerings during important occasions to promote family togetherness.
Symbol of completeness and unity: The moon holds great symbolism in Chinese culture, representing completeness, unity, and harmony. It is associated with the idea of being whole and balanced.
Mid-Autumn Festival: The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. During this festival, the full moon is celebrated, symbolizing family reunion and togetherness.
Beauty and romance: The moon is often associated with beauty and romance in Chinese literature and poetry. It is a source of inspiration for artistic expressions of love and longing.
Both eggs and the moon carry cultural significance in Chinese traditions. While eggs represent fertility, good luck, and family unity, the moon symbolizes unity, completeness, and the celebration of important festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival. They both hold a place of importance in Chinese culture and are deeply ingrained in its traditions and symbolism.
what does eggs mean in a dream?
The moon in dreams often symbolizes purity and beauty.
Dreaming of the moon generally suggests that everything will go smoothly and favorably. It indicates happiness in love, a blissful marriage, and prosperous career. The different shapes of the moon in dreams represent various life experiences or fluctuations in destiny.
Bright moonlight symbolizes family happiness.
Dreaming of a clear moon and sparkling stars together signifies good fortune and favorable outcomes in all aspects of life.
Dreaming of a full moon shining brightly in the sky indicates overall success and fulfillment. Particularly in matters of love, there will be no arguments or conflicts, and you can enjoy a sweet period.
Dreaming of the moonlight shining on you suggests a need to pay attention to your health. It may indicate respiratory-related illnesses, such as colds or inflamed tonsils.
Dreaming of a moon during the daytime suggests that unfortunate events may occur. You might encounter situations where someone tries to take advantage of you or be bothered by drunkards. It is best to stay indoors and have a quiet time at home.
Dreaming of a solitary moon hanging high in the night sky without any stars suggests the possibility of breaking up with a lover or the unfulfillment of your desire for love.
Dreaming of a bright moon hanging in a serene night sky with no clouds around suggests exciting changes ahead. It may indicate that you secretly anticipate change.
Dreaming of clouds covering the moon suggests a deterioration in relationships, whether with a romantic partner or spouse. It may also indicate the need to overcome temporary difficulties to achieve your goals.
Seeing a waning moon in a dream suggests that you may have some dark aspects to your personality. You might have lingering doubts and hesitations, making it difficult to make decisions.
For sailors or those embarking on long journeys, dreaming of a waning moon warns of possible dangers or hazards. Caution is advised. Unmarried men dreaming of a new moon may experience a breakup or feel emotionally low, anxious, and often unable to sleep. For young girls, dreaming of a crescent moon is an inauspicious sign, indicating the need to pay attention to health and safety.
A full moon symbolizes extraordinary success in love or the potential for wealth and the birth of a cherished child. Pregnant women dreaming of a full moon may give birth to a beautiful son. Patients dreaming of a full moon can expect a speedy recovery.
Dreaming of a radiant full moon signifies favorable outcomes in all aspects of life, particularly in love. You and your loved one are likely to have a period free of arguments and conflicts, experiencing a sweet and memorable time.
Dreaming of the rising of a full moon in the east suggests that you will achieve great success. By doubling your efforts in learning or work, you can achieve unexpectedly good results. It indicates a remarkable breakthrough or an opportunity for remarkable career development.
Dreaming of the moon rising from the horizon indicates recent financial abundance and the possibility of good fortune every day. However, it is important to avoid wastefulness to prevent the easy loss of financial luck.
Dreaming of the moon rising from the sea suggests that you can start from scratch or experience a significant improvement in your family business. Your financial luck will improve.
If moonlight shines through the window in a dream, it suggests unexpected developments in love. If you are currently not in a romantic relationship, there may be a connection with someone around you.
Dreaming of the moon about to descend indicates a major crisis in love or marriage, with the possibility of a breakup or long-term separation. It is crucial to pay attention to the relationship and show care for the other person.
Dreaming of a crescent moon quietly hanging high in the sky suggests a stagnation in romantic relationships. It may feel like the relationship with your partner was progressing smoothly in the past, but recently you may find it difficult to break through the current state. Sometimes, when you meet, you might feel a lack of conversation or awkwardness. It is advisable to bring some novelty and creativity into your dating life. Dreaming of moonlight shining on you indicates the need to pay attention to your physical condition. There may be respiratory illnesses or conditions like colds or inflamed tonsils.
For men, dreaming of bright moonlight not shining on the Earth suggests unexpected events and possible financial losses. Dreaming of the moon during the daytime may indicate some unfortunate events to come, such as being harassed, extorted, or robbed. It is best to reduce unnecessary outings and spend peaceful days at home.
Dreaming of bright moonlight reflecting on the water symbolizes ample time and increased leisure activities. Instead of spending time in restaurants, cafes, or internet cafes, it is better to relax outdoors and engage in activities like hiking or outings, which may yield greater rewards.
Dreaming of walking on the moon signifies an intellectual boost and entering a period of mental acuity. Your mind may be exceptionally clear and your thinking sharp. This is a favorable time to participate in exams or work diligently, as you have the opportunity to achieve extraordinary results and receive special recognition from teachers or leaders.
Eggs hold a special place in Chinese culture, representing new beginnings, good luck, and prosperity. From their symbolism in festivals and celebrations to their diverse culinary applications, eggs are an integral part of Chinese cuisine. Whether enjoyed as tea eggs, century eggs, or in comforting dishes like steamed egg custard, eggs offer a unique and delicious experience. Furthermore, their nutritional value and use in traditional medicine highlight their importance as a wholesome and beneficial ingredient. So, the next time you explore Chinese cuisine, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the various egg-based delicacies that contribute to the rich tapestry of Chinese culinary heritage.
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