Colorful Rice Cooked in Bamboo Tubes
On the third day of the third lunar month each year, five-color rice in bamboo tubes is cooked and enjoyed by the Miao minority in China.
Before the third day of the third lunar month approaches each year, the mountain villages of the Miao minority are already filled with festive spirit. Villagers chop fresh bamboo from the sides of the mountains and cut it into sections of similar length. Then they pick five kinds of leaves of different colors and make dye liquor from the leaves by boiling them in water, with which they dye the polished glutinous rice.
The festival finally arrives. Early in the morning, the housewife of each family gets up to prepare the special meal. They mix the five-color rice with small blocks of salted meat and then pour a proper amount of rice and water into each bamboo tube. The tubes are sealed with leaves before they are baked on charcoal fire. In a few minutes, an irresistibly nice smell comes to you with the change of the bamboo color from green into yellow. When the bamboo tubes are cut open, what greets your eyes is the colorful rice, which will certainly arouse your appetite.脗聽脗聽
This custom is said to have existed for thousands of years. According to the legendary story, a war for land was once fought between the Miaos, who used to live in the Yangtze and Huaihe River valleys, and a neighboring tribe. The Miaos were utterly defeated and had to run southward. In escaping, five men agreed to meet at an appointed place in Wuling Mountains in South China on the third day of the third lunar month the next year. After untold hardships, they all arrived at the spot. To celebrate their survival, they each picked some leaves of different colors and cooked a colorful rice meal in a bamboo tube. Since then this custom has been handed down generation after generation as a representation of reunion and new life.