Unlike the northerners who like to eat dumplings to celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival, the Suzhou natives prefer wontons and rice glue balls.
Wonton was originally used for rituals. In ancient times, people would make wontons on the Winter Solstice Festival to worship their ancestors and, after the ceremony, the whole family would share the wontons. Today, many southerners still eat wontons on the festival.
The Suzhou natives make wontons with very thin wrappers and fillings containing various fresh ingredients such as dried small shrimps and vegetables, and the soup is delicious, too.
The home-made rice glue balls, small dumpling balls made of glutinous rice flour with various fillings such as sweetened bean paste and shredded turnip, are beautiful and delicious.
Suzhou natives make large rice glue balls for ancestor worship and smaller ones as sacrificial offerings for gods during the festival.
For Suzhou natives, rice glue ball is a symbol of family reunion.