Hakka food customs


Dining etiquette for ceremonies:
1. In accordance with the custom of Jiu Xi San Qing (酒席三請), seating is carefully arranged
2. Designated persons serve food and pour wine 

The food culture around embracing auspicious thing and avoiding inauspicious ones:
1. Receiving the stove and worshiping the stove deity. Hosted by elderly women, this ritual involves burning incense, lighting candles, and foods such as chicken, pork, fish, and candies 

2. Foods for Chinese New Year -- Serving steaming glutinous cake implies prosperity in business and getting promoted. Paying people a courtesy call on New Year's Day or shortly after with a present in hand and eating oranges brings good luck. Eating celery and garlic on New Year’s Day implies that one is hard-working and shrewd, while eating meat balls means laying the basis for a future relationship. Eating pomelo is meant to bring babies in the new year. 

Though usually frugal, the Hakka prepare a lot of food on Chinese New Year and festivals. Holding Chinese New Year in high regard, they begin buying goods for the festival in December of the lunar calendar. During the second half of December, bustling activity can be found everywhere, as the Hakka steam glutinous cake, make Ban and bean curd, and butcher chickens and ducks to make cured foods. 

Food taboos:
Chopsticks should not be stuck in the middle of the rice bowl, nor should they hit against the bowl. The Hakka avoid breaking cooking oil bottles and keep their feet away from the stove when eating. Pregnant women should not eat turtles for fear of a difficult delivery. When a pregnant woman is about to give birth, her mother has to give her eggs on certain days to wish her a smooth delivery.

Eating together to show the spirit of solidarity:
In many places, people enjoy getting together to share foods, and drink wine. They also enjoy Dapinghuo (打平伙), a style of dining where everyone chips in to enjoy food and wine together. 

Harmony in cooking:
When one cooks, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the different nature of foods, as attention needs to be paid to the original flavor and the blending of foods.