Students from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University created this video to introduce and compare traditional delicacies featuring the winter tastes of both Suzhou and the West.

In Suzhou, two must-eat foods around winter solstice are wontons and winter wine (Dongniangjiu). Wontons are shaped like dumplings and filled with meat and vegetables. They are a symbol of family reunion as well as a farewell to the past year. In contrast to wontons, winter wine is a greeting to the New Year, carrying the best wishes for the spring.

In some Western countries, mulled wine and Yule log cake are essential treats. Similar to Chinese traditions, mulled wine has long been associated with good health and happiness. The fresh aroma of fruits and the sweet but bitter taste of red wine promises people a warm winter. Yule log cake, which originated from the custom of burning a Yule log, dates back to mediaeval times. The Yule log cake is a wish for a good harvest in the coming year.

This video is the fourth in a series that explores Jiangsu’s local customs, history, and culture, as well as an intercultural comparison between China and other countries. It is directed and filmed by Jingyi Yang from BA English and Communication Studies and Baoyi Wang, Jingyi Zhang, Yitong Li from BA Media and Communication Studies.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences has sparked and supported the students’ creativity.

By Ying Jiang

Edited by Tamara Kaup

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