5. Banzai


In Hakka food culture, the most special is various Baizai created depending on solar terms and customs. Therefore, under different solar terms and customs, different Baizai cultures exist. Hakka women are good at Da Ban. Some people even have compiled the culture and come up with Hakka Ban Shi Nian: You Zhui Zai (Tou Zhui), Hui, Pa (Er Pa), Nian Gao, Tian Xian Ban, Hua Sheng Ban, Hong Dou Ban (San Tian Ban), Tang Yuan, Yuan Xiao, Ban Yuan, Xue Yuan (Si Xi Yuan), Cai Bao, Di Gua Bao Cai, Cai Bao, Ai Cao Cai Bao, Tian Bao (Wu Bao), Mi Zong, Ban Zong, Geng Zong, Tian Zong, (Liu Ban), Shui Ban Zai (Qi Wan Ban), Mi Tai Mu, Mi Shai Mu, He Fen (Ba Mo Suo), Jiu Ceng Ban, Ban Tiao, JIu Ceng Gao, Hong Ban, Gui Ban, Chang Qian Ban, Xin Ding Ban (Shi Hong Tao). In addition, there are Cai Tou Ban, Fa Ban, Yu Tou Ban, You Fan, Mi Ban, Ai Ban. They fully explains the Hakka Ban culture.

What northern Hakka call Hong Ban is called Gui Ban by southern Hakka, or what Hoklo call Hong Gui Guo. There are two kinds of Hong Ban, one in turtle shape, the other in peach shape. Both represent good luck and longevity. Hakka people make Hong Ban and give them to friends and relatives on weddings, birthdays, Chinese New Year and festivals. Hong Ban is made on January 15 of the lunar calendar and if a boy was born within one year as a means to express profound gratitude or pray for blessings. This is also called Da Xin Ding Ban, Da Da Ban, often found in southern Taiwan and an important event in Hakka villages. After Western pastries became popular, Da Hong Ban celebrations are rare except in temple fairs. Nevertheless, on January 15 of the lunar calendar, the Da Xin Ding Ban event in Dongshi, Taichung is still a famous festival.

In the eyes of imaginative Hakka ancestors, Hakka Cai Bao looks very much like a pig cage used to catch pigs. That’s why it is nicknamed Zhu Long Ban. Though it can be bought at many places, delicious Hakka Cai Bao is hard to come by. Hakka Cai Bao is made of ground glutinous rice. The rice is finely ground so it isn’t grainy. It is rather filling. It is stuffed with delicious Hakka filling. The filling is made of shredded radish, mushroom, pork, and red onions. It is usually fried until brown. Thin-skinned Cai Bao with plenty of filling is steamed with peach leaf at the bottom, smelling very good.